Pingree Announces $2 Million EPA Grant to Boost Recycling Efforts in Maine
On America Recycles Day and Anniversary of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA announces grants funded in part by the largest recycling investment in 30 years
Today, in conjunction with America Recycles Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced ecomaine is among 25 selectees nationwide to receive over $33 million in Recycling Education and Outreach (REO) grants. With a focus on low-income communities and individuals living in multi-family housing, the $2 million grant will help ecomaine increase the recycling rate in Maine via a targeted pilot with dedicated educational outreach programming and single-sort recycling strategies in multi-family dwelling units, where access to participation traditionally has been limited.
“With roughly half of all greenhouse gas emissions coming from the creation and production of materials, recycling programs in Maine and across the country play an important role in our collective fight against climate change. But unfortunately, recycling rates for common recyclables remain low across the U.S., and often, recycling options are out of reach for low-income communities, renters, and those in multi-family housing,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the EPA. “This significant federal grant will help ecomaine build on its efforts to increase access and understanding of local recycling solutions and divert recyclables from landfills. I am thrilled to see federal dollars I work to appropriate to the EPA each year are being infused back into Maine communities and helping make our environment cleaner, healthier, and safer.”
“Today, on America Recycles Day, we are putting historic recycling investments into communities, made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Two years ago today, the President signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and with it, unleashed unprecedented funding to enable Tribes and communities to update recycling and composting infrastructure, while also advancing education programs to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.”
These recycling grants will help tackle consumer confusion and outdated recycling infrastructure, the largest barriers to proper recycling. Thanks to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Pingree strongly supported and was signed by President Biden two years ago today, EPA was provided the largest recycling investment in 30 years that is funding these two new programs.
These grants reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling environmental justice and the climate crisis. Many communities with environmental justice concerns carry a disproportionate environmental and human health burden from waste management. As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, 100% of the funding allocated in EPA’s SWIFR for Tribes grants and 74% of the funding allocated in the REO grants will benefit underserved and overburdened communities. Increasing recycling is also an important way to reduce pollution because natural resource extraction and processing make up half of all global greenhouse gas emissions that drive the climate crisis. Recycling reduces the need to extract resources such as timber, water, and minerals for new products.
Click here to learn more about the grants announced today.