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Within MRF projects receiving a boost by EPA grants

EPA grants to initiatives that are located in Colorado, Kentucky, New Jersey and Ohio are designed to boost recycling in areas that are not well-served, fight pollution and increase recycling of valuable materials like aluminum or PP.

MRF infrastructure investments form a large component of local governments’ plan to gather cleaner, more valuable materials, and to reduce the risk of pollution. Recent grants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grants (SWIFR) can also be aiding local MRFs upgrade their infrastructure or begin brand-new facilities.

The grant funds are an element in the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act and was financed through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021.

Grant-funded projects that were announced last week include the opening of new MRFs that are located in rural Colorado as well as in northwest Ohio in northwest Ohio. There are also projects that are already in place at MRFs located in New Jersey and Kentucky meant to fight contamination and take out important materials. Here’s a look at some projects that are among the MRF projects that will receive a portion of the $105 million worth of SWIFR grants to recycle, waste and organics projects across the across the country:

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Chaffee County, Colorado

Chaffee County will create a central location to process recyclable products when it constructs an MRF and the Regional transfer station at its landfill in the town in the mountains of Salida. Residents complain about the inconvenience of recycling since curbside recycling is expensive or unavailable in the area, and there are currently no public drop-off locations. Residents will be able drop off their recyclables in the facility that is being built.

Recycling and managing waste In the high mountains, managing waste and recycling is a problem as some residents reside within “hard to reach” areas and waste management companies in the area often have to haul waste hundreds of miles for processing.

“As a small, rural community, Chaffee County has struggled for many years to establish permanent, holistic solid waste diversion and materials recovery systems,” said Beth Helmke, deputy county administrator for Chaffee County in an announcement.

The new facilities will handle around 90,000 tons of materials a year and at the very least 50% of the material removed from landfills as per the EPA. Chaffee County estimates 60 percent of the waste being disposed of includes MSW as well as organic waste and 90 percent of it is recyclable or compostable.

The county is expected to begin the process of scoping out projects, designing sites and building construction using bidding process that is expected to start in 2024. According the Recycle Colorado, a state recycling non-profit with members from counties like Chaffee. The project’s total cost is expected to be at minimum $5 million.


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Jane S. King

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