C&D Research/Funding Grant Opportunities
The majority of funding for C&D materials management, recycling programs, and market development is at the state level. However, some federal funding is available for research and the development of innovative approaches to address environmental challenges including those in the construction industry.
EPAs Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) funds innovative pilot projects that demonstrate creative approaches to waste minimization, energy recovery, and recycling through the OSWER Innovations Initiative. This program encourages collaboration and partnership between EPA regional and headquarter program offices with co-regulators (i.e., federal, state, interstate, intrastate, and local) and external stakeholders including public agencies and institutions, nonprofit private organizations, academia, and federally recognized Tribes. In 2004, the OSWER Innovations Initiative funded two projects specifically related to construction materials reuse:
- Design for Disassembly in the Built Environment (PDF) (2 pp, 341K, about PDF) a collaborative effort between EPA Region 4 and the Community Housing Resource Center to reduce waste generated from residential building design and demolition by convening an experts group to formulate innovative design principles, building a case study house, documenting research and results, and promoting the incorporation of these principles into future housing design.
- Deconstruction for Urban Revitalization (PDF) (2 pp, 26K, about PDF) a collaborative effort among EPA Region 3, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Hamer Center at Penn State University, and the City of Philadelphia Neighborhood Transformation Initiative to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an innovative approach to dismantle row house buildings.
Other OSWER Innovations Initiative projects include:
- Building Deconstruction and Design for Reuse (PDF) (2 pp, 289K, about PDF) a collaborative effort between EPA Region 4 and the University of Florida Center for Construction to conduct an innovative research, demonstration, and education project deconstructing a typical wood-framed house in Gainesville, Florida, and designing and reconstructing its constituent materials into new neighborhood building projects. The project is unique in its simultaneous focus on the front end and the back end of the building process.
EPAs Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is administered by the Agencys National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance (NCERQA) in the Office of Research and Development. The Agencys SBIR Program solicits and funds research proposals that address EPA priority needs including solid waste management techniques. The goal is to promote technology innovation and commercialization. The program is intended to spawn commercial ventures that improve our environment and quality of life, create jobs, increase productivity and economic growth, and enhance the international competitiveness of the US technology industry. Generally, businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to receive an SBIR award. Over the past several years, the SBIR Program has funded several projects related to the construction industry including:
- Development of various sustainable construction materials;
- Design of a fully integrated modular panelized building system that integrates multiple building components to maximize building efficiency, longevity, sustainability and reuse;
- Development of sustainable building techniques; and
- Development of standards for the use of environmentally preferable products and processes in the design and construction of affordable homes.
EPA regional offices also provide grants to various organizationssuch as nonprofits, tribes, universities, and other institutionsto encourage sustainable C&D debris management including C&D debris source reduction, deconstruction and recycling, waste screening, and safety. Examples of various projects funded at the regional level:
- EPA Region 9 provided funding to the Chartwell School, a nonprofit school in Monterey, California, to design a new school that will be a model of sustainable building. The project will document specific design for disassembly strategies by developing construction details and systems that can be removed as intact salvageable components and rating components on ease of deconstruction and documenting the process, systems, and materials used. Focus areas include: advanced wood framing strategies; exposed utility systems; removable fasteners and bio-based adhesives replacing traditional adhesives; and plans for easy intact removal of doors, windows, and skylights. For additional grant information, see funding opportunities in Region 9.
- To promote deconstruction and building materials reuse in New York City, EPA Region 2 provided funding to New York Wa$teMatch to facilitate deconstruction and salvaging materials at the St. Francis of Assisi Complex. See the case study on deconstruction at the St. Francis of Assisi complex (PDF) (22 pp, 791K, About PDF) | Text Version (text file) (46K). For additional grant information, see funding opportunities in Region 2.
- The Southface Energy Institute, in association with the US General Services Administration and the State of Georgia sponsored a Sustainable Design, Construction and Deconstruction conference with funding from EPA Region 4. The conference included information on the benefits and principles of sustainable design, LEED Certification, sustainable materials selection, and waste management, as well as deconstruction practices.
- The Asphalt Shingle Recycling Website was developed through a grant from EPA Region 5 to the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), with technical support from the University of Florida. This site provides extensive information on asphalt shingle recycling, including research results, market data, regulatory information, and additional links.
To learn more about grant/funding opportunities at the regional level, contact your EPA regional office. Many of the C&D materials regional websites provide summary information on regional projects/initiatives sponsored by each regional office.
State agencies typically provide the majority of funding for C&D materials management and recycling. Some states have recycling market development programs that offer additional financial assistance. Contact your state agency for specific information on grant/funding opportunities.
Examples of C&D materials management projects funded at the state level:
- In 2002, the South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency received a grant/loan from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for construction of an Environmental Education Center. This project included the use of green construction materials and practices, as well as a study on construction waste to determine the composition of the waste generated and to assess the quantity potentially diverted from the landfill.
- In 2004, it the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) awarded $25,000 to New Hanover County to implement a C&D debris recycling program at the countys landfill.
- The State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism provided funding to two construction operations on Mauithe Pukalani Golf Estates and the Front Street Affordable Housing Projectto track the production and disposal of waste materials. The 2003 final report was used by the County of Maui Recycling Section to develop a County Handbook for C&D Recycling.
- To encourage deconstruction practices, the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery) granted up to $100,000 in 2000 to local governments to provide deconstruction training; demonstrate effective deconstruction technologies; establish deconstruction award and recognition programs; and develop deconstruction guidelines, case studies, and other educational materials.
- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources established a grant program specifically for C&D related activities, such as researching new markets, new business planning, and job-site waste reduction activities. The development of this grant program was was a direct result of the adoption of the Vermont Revised Solid Waste Management Plan in 2001 which identified critical solid waste management issues facing the state including C&D debris.
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection provides grants to local governments and businesses to improve C&D materials recycling (funded at $4 million in fiscal year 2000-2001), particularly drywall and roofing materials.