The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced the launch of its 2022 Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. The grants are intended to provide monetary support to businesses purchasing equipment to help expand collection services of the materials, including commercial food waste (generators of ½ ton or more per week), mattresses, and textiles, that will become newly banned from disposal on November 1, 2022.
The minimum grant award will be $25,000 and the maximum award will be $100,000 per applicant. Applicants must provide a minimum financial match of 50 percent of the grant. The application must be submitted online by December 9, 2022 at 5 p.m.
The aim of the RBDG program is to drive investment in an enhanced collection infrastructure to help ensure that collection options for these materials are more extensive, convenient, and cost-effective. The program is a part of the 2030 Massachusetts Solid Waste Plan, seeking to reduce the amount of waste disposed in the state by 30 percent over the next decade.
In order to be eligible to apply for a grant, you must:
i. Be a company or corporation;
ii. Collect one or more specific eligible materials (listed below);
iii. Operate a location in Massachusetts where the proposed collection activity will occur;
iv. Have been in substantial compliance with federal and state environmental laws for the past 3 years; and
v. Provide a minimum financial match of 50 percent.
The grants may only be used to fund projects related to the collection of food for donation or food waste for animal feed, composting, or anaerobic digestion, mattresses, and textiles. Grant eligible purchases include a new or used truck (does not include leases); collection containers such as carts, dumpsters, or roll-off containers to expand collection routes and services; and equipment or software to increase route efficiency (leasing and subscriptions are not eligible).
MassDEP will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:
vi. Your capabilities and experience;
vii. The extent to which your proposed project fosters stronger local recycling markets;
vii. The technical feasibility of the investment;
ix. The applicant’s financial match (a proposed match of greater than 50% will be viewed favorably during the evaluation);
x. Whether you are listed among and/or commit to purchase from Commonwealth Supplier Diversity Program-certified businesses; and
xi. The likelihood of success and continued sustainability of the investment after the grant.
MassDEP may require a site visit and/or interview with the top ranked applicants as part of the evaluation.
As always, Prince Lobel attorneys are here to help your business navigate MassDEP’s Recycling Business Development Grant applicant process. If you would like assistance completing an RBDG application and developing a realistic, accurate, and achievable project proposal, please contact Julie Pruitt Barry, chair of Prince Lobel’s Environmental Law group, or Lesley Delany Hawkins, chair of the firm’s Restaurant and Hospitality group.
Read more on the new expanded ban on food and other commercial organic waste.
With thanks to Dalton Battin for his work on the Client Alert.