We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Compliance

Waste Resources and Tools for Financing Compliance

Every year, communities across the United States generate over 200 million tons of "trash" - over four pounds per person, per day. Less than one-quarter of it is recycled; the rest is incinerated or buried in landfills. To address this issue, communities can first decide how to effectively manage their solid waste and then determine the best funding solution.

EPA regulates hazardous and non-hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Municipal waste consists mainly of paper, yard trimmings, glass, and other materials. While EPA runs the federal program, individual states have adopted federal standards and operate their state-specific waste management programs.

To help communities plan to meet future compliance requirement, the Federal Government created a central database that allows users to search on the Agency's rulemaking dockets, view the indices and submit comments online when a docket is open for public comments. Searchable database containing information about new regulations, proposed rules, the Federal Register, dockets, and the regulatory agenda of future regulations to allow systems to better plan expansions and upgrades. EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery maintains a web page containing information about current regulations, guidance, policies and other resources.

The Financing Resources and Tools by Media box at the right side of this page contains links to information which may be helpful, during the financial planning process. Tools include technical and financial provider and resource information as well as program contacts.

This site also includes specialized resources for small communities and Indian tribes.

  • Case Studies

    25 Years of RCRA: Building on Our Past to Protect Our Future
    This report provides an analysis of why RCRA was enacted, progress made during the past 25 years, a compilation of success stories, and possible improvements for the future

    U.S. Case Studies Using Municipal Solid Waste Decision Tool (PDF) (10 pp, 635K, About PDFExit 
    The municipal solid waste decision support tool (MSW-DST) is being used in communities across the United States. The methodology that the tool is based on incorporates both life-cycle inventory analysis and full-cost accounting. The results of this tool are helping communities to make decisions that will result in more efficient environmental management. This paper provides an overview of some of the case studies that the tool has been used for to help illustrate the variety of potential applications.

    Unit Pricing of Residential Municipal Solid Waste: Lessons from Nine Case Study Communities (PDF) (109 pp, 264K, About PDF)
    Unit pricing of residential solid waste, or pay-as-you-throw programs, 1 represents one innovative approach to encourage significant waste reduction and diversion. Instead of paying a monthly or annual flat fee, a household must pay per unit of waste generated under a unit pricing program. Today, more than 1,500 communities employ some variation of unit pricing. This report provides an overview of case studies of nine communities that have implemented unit pricing for residential waste collection. This overview analyzes the various characteristics of the nine unit pricing programs, assesses program outcomes, and compares the results with findings from an in-depth literature review.

  • Contacts

    RCRA State Authorization
    Describes the rulemaking process through which EPA delegates the responsibility of implementing the RCRA hazardous waste program to individual states.

    The Environmental Finance Centers
    Provides state and local officials and small businesses with advisory services; education, publications, and training; technical assistance; and analyses on financing alternatives. The nine centers have helped numerous communities implement innovative environmental financing techniques.

    The Environmental Finance Center Network currently includes: The following links exit the site Exit

    These centers have proven effective vehicles for promoting innovative environmental financing techniques.

    Other Government Contacts

    USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) State Contacts
    Provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance. RUS also makes grants to nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to assist rural communities with their water, wastewater, and solid waste problems.

    USDA Rural Utility Service Federal Contacts
    Provides the names and telephone numbers of RUS national staff.

    Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration (EDA) Contacts
    The Department of Commerce's Public Works and Economic Development program helps support the construction or rehabilitation of essential public infrastructure and facilities necessary to generate or retain private sector jobs and investments, attract private sector capital, and promote regional competitiveness, including investments that expand and upgrade infrastructure to attract new industry, support technology-led development, redevelop brownfield sites and provide eco-industrial development. This site provides a list of EDA regional contacts who can provide information on EDA programs, investment policies, and funding opportunities.

    Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Contacts
    The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs and to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and opportunities to expand economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. This site provides contact information for field office staff who can provide eligibility information for the community development block grant program.

  • Financial Providers and Resources

    EPA and other entities have created numerous documents and tools to assist municipal officials as they develop a financing plan. Below are selected sites containing financing information. This is not an exhaustive listing of available financial information providers and resources, but rather highlights some resources from the vast array of available tools. 

    Providers

    EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery - Grants and Funding
    This page provides access to information on assistance agreement (i.e., grants, cooperative agreements, etc.) funding opportunities available in EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). All OLEM discretionary funding opportunities subject to the Agency's competition policy are published on this site. Grant and other funding opportunities are posted as they become available.

    Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs)
    The nine EFCs are located in multiple centers across the nation. They provide state and local officials and small businesses with advisory services, education, publications, training, technical assistance and analyses on financing alternatives.

    The Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEANExit
    This site is a "first-stop shop" providing environmental management, planning, funding and regulatory information for local government elected and appointed officials, managers and staff.  LGEAN enables local officials to interact with their peers and others online.  In an effort to reach all local governments, LGEAN also manages a toll-free telephone service (877/865-4326).

    EPA Office of Compliance Assistance Centers
    This site contains links to various centers available to answer questions about environmental regulations based on industry type.

    Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency
    The Public Works Program empowers distressed communities to revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies, and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investment.

    Resources

    EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery – Full Cost Accounting - Municipal Solid Waste - Questions & Answers
    Full cost accounting (FCA) is a method of accounting for all monetary costs of resources used or committed for municipal solid waste services. FCA goes beyond the limits of cash flow accounting, which is often used by local governments, by considering direct and indirect (overhead) operating costs of services as well as up front (past) and back-end (future) expenses. FCA identifies all the activities communities undertake in their solid waste programs including recycling and composting. FCA helps managers understand the costs of different strategies for managing MSW. It also helps managers determine how they can deliver an integrated set of components in the most efficient manner possible.

    United States Census Bureau
    This site contains population and economic data on communities across the nation.

    United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
    This site contains economic and statistics data on social and economic conditions across the country.

  • Technical Providers and Resources

    EPA and other entities have developed numerous documents and tools to assist municipal officials as they devise a technical solution. Below are selected sites containing technical assistance providers and resources. 

    Providers

    Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) Exit
    This group provides environmental management, planning, funding, and regulatory information for local government elected and appointed officials, managers and staff. LGEAN enables local officials to interact with their peers and others online.  In an effort to reach all local governments, LGEAN also manages a toll-free telephone service (877/865-4326).

    Rural Community Assistance Partnership Exit
    RCAP assists communities by providing technical, financial management, and managerial support and training to local officials in communities with populations under 10,000. RCAP solid waste staff help small communities build the capacity necessary to make decisions and implement solutions to effectively manage their solid waste. Assistance includes developing and implementing solid waste management plans and constructing and closing landfills.

    Resources

    Landfill Methane Gas Outreach Program
    The U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy source. This site provides links technical, promotional, and informational tools as well as support services to assist with the development of landfill gas projects

    EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Page
    EPA is helping communities reduce and better manage Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) - more commonly known as trash or garbage - through a coordinated mix of practices that includes source reduction, recycling (including composting), and disposal. This Web site contains a wealth of information on MSW, including information on over 40 subjects related to MSW management, such as buy recycled, lifecycle analysis, pollution prevention, and used oil.

  • Publications

    EPA has published multiple resources to assist municipal officials as they develop a financing plan to remain in or return to compliance. Below are selected links to EPA waste publications.

    EPA's Solid Waste Funding: A Guide to Federal Assistance (PDF) (12 pp, 229K, About PDF)Exit
    This 1998 brochure describes a variety of funding sources for solid waste research and management programs available to state and local governments, the general public, and small businesses. This funding is available from the U.S. EPA and other federal agencies.

    EPA Jobs Through Recycling
    This Web page contains links to funding and technical assistance programs.

    EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery - Beyond RCRA: Prospects for Waste and Materials Management in the Year 2020; Final White Paper
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agencies developed this white paper jointly. It aims to open and inspire dialogue on what the future could hold for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program in 20 years. The paper identifies a number of trends that could affect the future of waste and materials management, resource conservation, and human and environmental health. The paper also suggests certain general strategies and tools that might be used to build a new vision for the future of the RCRA program. While the paper is intended to stimulate thought and discussion about the future of RCRA, it is not a statement of any formal EPA or state agency policy.

    EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery - 25 Years of RCRA: Building on Our Past to Protect Our Future
    An analysis of why RCRA was enacted, progress made during the past 25 years, a compilation of success stories, and possible improvements for the future

  • Small Communities

    The following is a non-exhaustive list of free technical assistance and financial resources targeted toward small communities. 

    Technical Assistance Resources

    National Environmental Services Center Exit
    The Center provides technical assistance and information about drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, and solid waste management to communities serving fewer than 10,000 individuals.

    Financial Resources

    Small Communities face serious challenges as the tonnage of municipal solid waste continues to grow and landfill space continues to decline.

    Grants

    USDA Rural Development
    Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.  Grants are authorized on a graduated scale.  Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grant funds can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services.  This can include the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation.  Grant assistance may be available for up to 75% of project costs. Grant funding limitations are based on population and income, economic feasibility, and availability of funds.

    USDA Solid Waste Management Grant Program
    The solid waste management grants may be used to:

    • Evaluate current landfill conditions to determine threats to water resources
    • Provide technical assistance and/or training to enhance operator skills in the operation and maintenance of active landfills
    • Provide technical assistance and/or training to help communities reduce the solid waste stream.
    • Provide technical assistance and/or training for operators of landfills which are closed or will be closed in the near future with the development and implementation of closure plans, future land use plans, safety and maintenance planning, and closure scheduling within permit requirements

    Loans

    USDA Rural Development - Housing and Community Facilities Programs
    Community Programs can make and guarantee loans to develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.  Loans and guarantees are available to public entities such as communities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as to non-profit corporations and tribal governments.  Loan funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and public services.  This can include costs to acquire land needed for a facility, pay necessary professional fees, and purchase equipment required for its operation. Through this program, the Housing and Community Facilities Programs guarantees up to 90% of the amount of a loan from a private lender to a public or nonprofit entity to be used for the construction of an essential community facility. Many community borrowers in the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program are able to leverage loan guarantees with funds from private, state and local sources.

    Contacts

    RCRA State Authorization
    Describes the rulemaking process through which EPA delegates the responsibility of implementing the RCRA hazardous waste program to individual states.

  • Tribal

    Indian tribes and Native Alaskan Villages face significant solid and hazardous waste management challenges. EPA and other organizations provide technical assistance resources to help these communities protect public health and the environment. The following is a listing of technical assistance resources as well as the financial resources available to tribes for financing waste environmental compliance. Tribal contacts are available to answer specific waste program questions.

    Technical Assistance Providers and Resources

    Indian Health Service Area Regional Office – Office of Environmental Health and Engineering – Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction
    The Sanitation Facilities Construction (SFC) Program is the environmental engineering component of the IHS health delivery system. The SFC Program provides technical and financial assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities (tribes) for the cooperative development and continuing operation of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems, and related support facilities.

    Bureau of Reclamation Native American Affairs Office and Program
    The Native American Affairs Office in the Commissioner's Office serves as the central coordination point for the Native American Affairs Program and is Reclamation's policy lead for all Native American issues.

    EPA American Indian Environmental Office
    The American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) coordinates the Agency-wide effort to strengthen public health and environmental protection in Indian Country, with a special emphasis on building Tribal capacity to administer their own environmental programs.

    EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery – RCRA State Authorization
    Describes the rulemaking process through which EPA delegates the responsibility of implementing the RCRA hazardous waste program to individual states.

    Financial Resources

    Indian tribes and Native Alaskan Villages face significant water and wastewater infrastructure challenges. EPA and other organizations provide financial resources to help communities protect public health and the environment. The following is a non-exhaustive list of financial resources targeted toward tribes.

    Grants

    EPA American Indian Environmental Office Grants and Funding
    This page provides information and links to multiple EPA tribal grant programs.

    Contacts

    EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
    Regional and Headquarters Tribal Contacts Tribal program contacts provide useful, up-to-date information about building waste management capacity, developing tribal infrastructure, realizing economic sustainability for tribal waste programs, and forging partnerships for waste management among tribes, states, local governments, and federal agencies.

    Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner's Office Contacts - Native American Affairs Office
    The Native American Affairs Office provides technical assistance to tribes, training to manage natural resources, and assists with economic development plans.

    Indian Health Service Area Regional Office — Office of Environmental Health and Engineering — Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction
    This page provides regional contact information to Area Sanitation Facilities Division Directors. The Directors and their staff provide technical and financial assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities for the cooperative development and continuing operation of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems, and related support facilities. regional contact information to Area Sanitation Facilities Division Directors. The Directors and their staff provide technical and financial assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities for the cooperative development and continuing operation of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems, and related support facilities.