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2018 Municipal Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Programs

Grants to New York Municipalities, Agencies, Tribes, and
Districts to Reduce Food Waste and Increase Food Recycling

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Deadline Date:

03/01/19 3:00 PM ET


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Grants starting at $1,000 to New York local governments, public authorities, public benefit corporations, Tribes, and school, supervisory, and improvement districts to reduce food waste, increase food recovery, and improve food recycling in local communities. Applicants must pre-register before applying.

Passage of the Environmental Protection Act in 1993 created the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a continuing source of funds dedicated to environmental projects, including programs such as the Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling (MWRR) program to help municipalities meet environmental goals and mandates. Funding for the individual program components is subject to annual legislative appropriations.

The EPF allows the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to provide MWRR funding to local governments for waste reduction and recycling projects. The overall goal of this funding program is to assist municipalities in expanding local waste reduction and recycling programs, and increase participation in those programs. The MWRR State assistance program can help fund the costs of:

- Capital Investment in Facilities and Equipment
- Recycling Education/Promotion/Outreach and Coordination
- Waste Reduction Capital or Education Costs

The 2018/19 Budget included a $2,000,000 fund specifically for food scraps reduction, food donation, and food scraps recycling activities. The funding is available for food rescue organizations and municipalities.

Eligible projects are expected to enhance the reduction, recovery, and/or recycling programs of municipalities with relation to food waste. Waste reduction capital or education can include the capital, planning and promotional costs of waste reduction projects undertaken to reduce the volume or toxicity of material entering the Municipal Solid Waste stream, by reducing the volume or toxicity of material at the point of generation. Food recovery projects eliminate the wasting of wholesome, edible food and/or make food available to those in need. Recycling equipment includes structures, machinery, or devices providing for the environmentally sound recovery of recyclables including source separation equipment and recyclables recovery equipment. Recycling education and coordination promotes and encourages participation in local recycling programs.

What is public education/promotion/outreach?

Examples include:
- Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation, and/or Food Scraps Recycling guides, mailers, brochures, and webpages.
- Advertising on TV, radio, newspaper, billboards, etc.
- Signs and displays
- Give-a-ways, children's shows, county fair fees
- Other media for educating the public on the benefits and methods of food scraps reduction, food donation, and food scraps recycling

What is a waste reduction project?
A waste reduction project is a project undertaken to reduce the volume or toxicity of materials entering the MSW stream, by reducing the volume or toxicity of materials at the point of generation. For this grant program, waste reduction projects include capital, planning, and educational activities to increase awareness of methods to prevent the generation of food scraps.

What is a Food Recovery/Rescue Project?
A food recovery/rescue project is a project undertaken to reduce the volume of wholesome, edible food from being disposed and to divert it to the food insecure. Food recovery projects include capital, planning, educational, and personal service costs to get food that would be otherwise wasted to those in need.

Examples of Eligible Costs:

1. Dedicated facilities planned, designed and constructed to ensure environmental protection and to recycle food scraps (composting, etc.).
2. Structures, machinery or devices required to separate or process food scraps (depackaging, etc.).
3. Containers for the temporary storage of food scraps by single family and multiple family dwellings (totes, etc.) and wholesome food or food scraps from commercial or institutional generators.
4. Collection vehicles specifically dedicated to hold and transport donated food or food scraps.
5. Add-ons or trailers designed to modify collection vehicles to allow sorting and separation of food scraps.
6. Receptacles, roll-off containers, sheds or facilities dedicated to the temporary storage of food scraps.
7. Staff time associated with food scraps reduction, food donation, and/or food scraps recycling.
8. Costs for reduction, donation, recycling public education/promotion/outreach materials

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184342

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum award amount is $1,000. The maximum award amount is $250,000. The maximum project award allocated for staffing resources is $150,000. Engineering costs are limited to 15% of the total project cost.

Term of Contract:

All projects must be completed and invoiced within a three-year contract period/term. Applicants should not begin their projects or incur costs until a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) has been fully approved by DEC, and if applicable, approved by the Attorney General and the State Comptroller.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who is eligible to apply?

- Counties, Cities, Towns or Villages
- Local Public Authorities
- Local Public Benefit Corporations (organizations established by State Law)
- School Districts, Supervisory Districts & Improvement Districts
- Native American Tribes or Nations residing in New York State
- Any combination of the above

By law, private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and State agencies are NOT eligible to receive this MWRR funding.

Note: Not-for-profits may be eligible for a separate food donation grant program available from DEC.

Examples of INELIGIBLE Costs:

1. Costs of facilities or equipment of which the primary purpose is to process waste for disposal.
2. Costs of preparing and submitting an application for State assistance or other grants.
3. Expendable or non-durable items such as food scraps collection bags, bags required for waste or recyclables collection, laboratory chemicals, and cleaning products.
4. Maintenance or general operational equipment, brooms, hand tools, power tools, or general hardware.
5. Public space bins or containers for garbage or litter deposition or collection.
6. General purpose vehicles (such as pickup trucks or dump trucks) that are not clearly used for compostables collection or donated food transportation programs.
7. Costs of educational materials that describe disposal, such as collection schedules for non-recyclables

Pre-Application Information:

Opportunity Timetable:

- Announcement of Grant Program 9/5/2018
- Applications Open in Grants Gateway 9/5/2018
- Grants Gateway Webinar 9/26/2018 1:00 PM ET
- Q&A Period Ends 2/22/2019 5:00 PM ET
- Final Applications Due 3/1/2019 3:00 PM ET
- Award Announced 4/5/2019

Grants Gateway registration: It is important to note that all applicants must be registered with Grants Gateway to submit an application. For more information about the Grants Gateway, please visit Grants Reform ( or contact the Grants Reform team.

Questions regarding this grant opportunity will be accepted by the DEC until 5:00 PM ET February 22, 2019. All questions, and answers, will be uploaded in the Grants Gateway application for all applicants to view. See Supporting Documents below.

Total funds available are $1,200,000. If funds are remaining after the grant period, excess funds may be transferred to the Emergency Food Relief Organizations grant project for not-for-profit food providers, being provided by DEC in conjunction with this program. The total available for both grant programs is $2,000,000.

Match Percentages: Required % match is determined by project type:
- 20% Match – Outreach and Education Materials
- 20% Match – Staffing-related Costs
- 50% Match – Capital and Construction Costs

View the recorded webinar from September 26:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Grants Gateway portal:

Department of Environmental Conservation

Grants Reform Team

Grants Reform Helpdesk
Phone: 518-474-5595

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York