Biden-Harris Administration Invests $733,568 in Illinois Recycling Infrastructure Projects Through Investing in America Agenda
EPA grants funded in part by largest recycling investment in 30 years under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2023) –- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $733,568 from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across Illinois by improving solid waste management planning, data collection and implementation of plans. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment is a part of EPA’s largest recycling investment in 30 years.
The grants support the implementation of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy to build an economy devoted to keeping materials, products and services in circulation for as long as possible –what’s known as a “circular economy.”
“President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda tackles our most pressing environmental challenges including climate change and lead in drinking water, and today we add another historic investment to better manage waste in communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “By investing in better recycling, EPA is deploying resources to provide recycling services across the country, including in disadvantaged communities, while preventing waste that contributes to the climate crisis, supporting local economies and creating good-paying jobs.”
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides historic levels of funding for programs to tackle climate change and advance environmental justice,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program will support states throughout the Great Lakes region as they help our communities more sustainably manage waste.”
“Here in the Land of Lincoln, we know that infrastructure is another word for opportunity—for our communities, for our economy, and for our environment,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Thanks to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program, Illinois will receive more than $730,000 in federal funding to support our state-wide waste management systems. I am grateful to the Biden Administration for partnering with us as we work together to build a more sustainable and equitable future for all Illinoisans.”
“The federal investment Illinois received through the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program not only bolsters our state‘s recycling infrastructure, but also strengthens our commitment to sustainable post-consumer materials,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “It’s a testament to how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act continues to deliver for Illinois communities, ensuring a greener and more prosperous future for our residents.”
“As co-founder of the Environmental Justice Caucus, I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to support a cleaner and greener Illinois,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth. “Today’s resources will help our state improve materials management and strategize how communities across Illinois can better benefit from a circular economy. I’ll keep working alongside the Biden Administration to bring federal resources for climate-friendly initiatives home to Illinois.”
“The 21st century demands drastic actions to mitigate climate change and pollution. Thanks to President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Law, the State of Illinois is set to receive nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for the newly established Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) grant program. Not only will this grant help slow the pace of global deforestation, but it will also reduce landfill use, lower energy costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “The summer of 2023 was the hottest ever on record. Our children should not be forced to suffer the consequences of our lack of action. With the help of the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress, we can protect everyone, especially our youth, from the existential threat of climate change.”
“Recycling is instrumental in improving the environment, making our economy more efficient, and fueling innovation," said Rep. Bill Foster. "Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, over $730,000 will be used to modernize Illinois' recycling practices, which will help preserve these systems and their ability to act as a sustainable economic driver in our society.”
“In a time when waste is abundant, we must invest in new strategies to keep our planet clean and protect our environment from the adverse effects of excess waste,” said Rep. Mike Quigley. “Our communities and our health depend on our ability to improve recycling efforts and create a circular economy. I look forward to working with Illinois leaders to see these recycling plans developed and implemented.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to bring investments crucial to improving the lives of people across Illinois,” said Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García. “This EPA grant to support the implementation of the National Recycling Strategy will help advance environmental justice and create many jobs for people in our state.”
“Building healthier communities for our kids and grandkids includes protecting the environment around us and advocating for communities that are disproportionately impacted by the disposal of post-consumer waste,” said Rep. Eric Sorensen. “I applaud this recently announced grant funding, secured in a bipartisan manner, to reduce unnecessary waste and make Central and Northwestern Illinois a better place to live and work.”
“The Illinois EPA will utilize this U.S. EPA award to conduct a statewide waste characterization and infrastructure needs assessment for the first time in nearly twenty years,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “Once completed, the study will offer numerous benefits to the State of Illinois and identify areas where improvements are needed to minimize the volume of waste that is landfilled each year.”
President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
EPA’s Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program is also advancing President's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Approximately $56 million out of the $73 million – or 76% - of the total funding for communities will go toward projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants for States and Territories
The recycling grants for states and territories will provide funding to all 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia via grants ranging from $360,000 to $750,000; with the highest grant amounts supporting those states and territories that need it the most. Illinois will conduct a statewide waste characterization study that identifies the annualized volume of individual materials generated in Illinois and the end-of-life handling methods of those materials by geographic region of the state.
These grants represent important steps toward achieving the EPA’s National Recycling Goal and Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal. Funded activities include improving post-consumer materials management programs through developing or updating solid waste management plans and strengthening data collection efforts.
Today’s announcement for states, territories, and communities is the first round of funding from this new grant program. In the coming months, EPA will announce the selected recipients of the recycling grants for Tribes and intertribal consortia, as well as the recipients of EPA’s new Recycling Education and Outreach grant program.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $275 million total from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2026 for grants authorized under the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act - the largest investment in recycling in 30 years. The recycling grants are supplemented with additional funding provided through EPA’s annual appropriations. EPA has selected these entities to receive funding for recycling infrastructure projects and anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.
For details about the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program selectees and other Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-related funding opportunities, visit the EPA recycling grants webpage.