The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced the availability of $3.2 million in funding to assist local governments, businesses and other public and private sector entities improve their recycling efforts. The recycling programs are funded through the state’s Solid Waste Management fund, which is a dedicated funding source that is supported by a surcharge on garbage being landfilled in Illinois.
“Recycling used materials can create six to 10 times more jobs as opposed to discarding them in a landfill,” says Warren Ribley, director of Illinois’ DCEO. “This funding will help public and private sector entities across the state increase their recycling efforts, helping them save on energy and reduce waste, while also creating new ‘green sector’ jobs, which will help fuel our economic growth.”
The State Energy Office at DCEO, Division of Recycling and Waste Reduction, administers four core programs:
- Illinois Recycling Grants Program (IRGP) provides matching grants to assist local governments and businesses fund traditional recycling (fiber, plastic, metal and glass) projects. Applications for the IRGP program are currently being accepted. The applications are due March 16, 2011, and are available at www.illinoisrecycles.com. Grant funds may be used to purchase project-related capital equipment such as collection, processing or handling equipment and project-related expansion and modernization costs.
- Recycling Expansion and Modernization Program provides matching grants to Illinois businesses to accomplish recycling market expansion and waste reduction goals.
- Food Scrap Composting Revitalization & Advancement Program will fund projects to advance Illinois’ food scrap composting infrastructure. Food scraps from households, grocery stores, farmer's markets, restaurants, college facilities, and food packaging operations account for 12 percent of all municipal solid waste landfilled in Illinois.
- The Zero Waste Schools Program provides educational and technical assistance about zero waste programs and practices to Illinois schools.