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Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant

The Recycling Partnership’s Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant Program was updated in the spring of 2019 to offer more funding and greater flexibility to support curbside recycling in communities of all sizes across the United States.  This grant program presents communities with the opportunity to apply for grant funding to convert bin or bag based curbside recycling programs to carts or to implement new cart-based curbside recycling programs.  Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing and continuous basis, and communities that receive funding for carts will also be offered financial and technical assistance in support of recycling education and outreach.  More information including how to apply for grant funding is provided in our Request For Proposals.





Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant Application

Q: What is the purpose of The Recycling Partnership’s residential curbside recycling cart grant?

A: The purpose of the Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant Program is to advance recycling in communities across the United States by offering financial and technical assistance to support the implementation of cart-based curbside recycling.

Q: What are The Recycling Partnership’s Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant guidelines and restrictions? How do I apply for the grant from The Recycling Partnership?

A: Specific parameters and requirements are explained in detail in the Request for Proposals (RFP) document.  All applicants must submit a completed application for consideration.

Q: Who qualifies for cart grant funding?

A: Grant funding is available to support publicly sponsored curbside recycling programs for communities of any size.  The applicant must be a local government, solid waste authority, or federally recognized tribe.  Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and there is no due date for proposals.

Q: How will grant funds be distributed?

A: The Recycling Partnership offers reimbursement grants that are distributed on a reimbursement basis within net thirty (30) days of receiving an invoice from a grantee. Grantees must complete purchases using local funds and then apply for reimbursement. Total grant distributions from the Partnership will not exceed 90 percent of reimbursable costs until the submittal of a final project report — the remaining 10 percent of reimbursable expenses will be paid at that time.

Q: What types of projects are funded?

A: Grant funding is available through the Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant Program for recycling carts and for public education and outreach.  To qualify for educational funding, applicants must simultaneously seek funding for new recycling carts. The level of funding available to support the procurement of recycling carts varies based on the implementation strategy selected by the community (see chart on page 5 of RFP).  Successful applicants will use grant funding to secure recycling carts to implement a new cart-based curbside recycling collection program, to expand access to cart-based recycling within their community, or to transition from an open bin or bag-based curbside recycling collection system to a cart-based collection system. Programs where all households are already receiving cart-based recycling service would be ineligible for funding.

Q: Are there data and reporting requirements?

A: Yes, The Partnership’s work is data driven, and the applicant must agree to implement a system for tracking waste and recycling data. Grantees are required to report monthly and annual municipal solid waste (MSW) and recycling tonnage data to The Partnership for the periods before, during, and after cart implementation.

To be eligible to apply for a Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant from The Recycling Partnership, a potential applicant must establish an account with the Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) prior to submitting an application for funding. Visit the Municipal Measurement Program for details and create an MMP account here.

Q: What type of attachments should be added to an application?

A: You should include letters of support with your grant application from your:

  • Highest elected/appointed official (e.g., County Commissioner, Mayor, Executive Director, etc.).
  • Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) responsible for handling community recyclables.
  • State recycling office where the community is located.

Q: How much funding is available?

A: This grant program allows for communities to use a variety of approaches to implement recycling with carts, from providing every household in the jurisdiction with a cart at once, to implementing in phases, or even allowing citizens to opt-in or out of recycling service.

The amount of funding available for each of the various implementation strategies is valued differently based on the chosen strategy’s relative effectiveness for engaging recycling behavior to the widest number of citizens and diverting recyclable materials from disposal on a community-wide scale.  The Recycling Partnership’s goal and preference is that every household eligible for curbside recycling services should be provided a cart for recycling — making access to recycling collection as easy as access as to waste collection.

The three main differences between The Partnership’s last cart grant RFP and this one are: There is no minimum community size requirement; Funding available for a full-cart distribution is increasing from $7 per cart to $15 per cart; And there is more funding flexibility. If your community is not ready to roll carts out to every home, we can now provide funding for a variety of cart distribution approaches. See table on page 5 of RFP for breakdown.

Q: Can grant funds be used to replace existing carts or to purchase carts for waste or organics collection, or to support the collection of recyclables from businesses, schools or institutions?

A: No, grant funding is not available to replace existing carts, to support the purchase of carts for waste or organics collection, or to support the collection of recyclables from businesses, schools, or institutions.

Q: Is grant funding available for a dual stream, cart-based system?

A: A community seeking to purchase recycling carts for a dual-stream collection system is eligible to apply; however, funding would only be available for one (1) cart per household if funding is awarded.

Q: Is there a requirement on cart sizes and collection frequencies?

A: Yes.  A community must be seeking to purchase carts that are 65 or 95 gallon in volume and must collect curbside recyclables on a weekly or every-other-week basis.  If planning to collect every-other-week, then a community must be seeking to purchase 95-gallon carts.

Q: Are carts required to have RFID tags / chips?

A: Yes, carts must also be manufactured with embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags/chips.

Q: Is there an outreach and education requirement for this grant?

A: Yes, grantees must agree to use select elements of The Partnership’s campaign materials and must also partner with The Partnership to deploy an outreach campaign during the months prior to the cart rollout.  Required education and outreach activities include:

  • direct-to-resident information mailer informing citizens about the availability/forthcoming distribution of recycling carts;
  • information packet delivered with the cart; and,
  • use of oops tags or other anti-contamination strategies to reinforce correct recycling behavior after carts have been delivered.

Grant funding at the level of $1 per household is provided to support the implementation of these items.

Q: Do we have to use The Partnership’s Logo on education materials?

A: An applicant must be willing to use The Partnership logo on education materials that have been funded with grant proceeds and to make mutually-agreeable acknowledgments indicating the project was partially funded by a grant from The Recycling Partnership.  An example of logo usage is available upon request.

Q: Do we have to utilize The Partnership’s Technical Assistance?

A: An applicant must be willing work with The Partnership to receive technical support and assistance to ensure adoption of best management practices for its public curbside recycling program.  For more information regarding these practices, visit our Guide To Implementing A Cart-Based Recycling Program.

Q: How long is my grant award term?

A: Grant contract terms will typically last at least one year if not longer, and grant proceeds are paid on a reimbursement basis, meaning that grantees must make the initial purchases of grant-related materials and then work with the Partnership to request a reimbursement of funds from grant proceeds.

Q: What makes a grant application competitive?

A: The Partnership considers how thoroughly an applicant has responded to:

  • the required application elements;
  • the potential for a grant project to divert recyclable materials from disposal;
  • the number of households impacted by the project;
  • which cart implementation strategy/model the community intends to use;
  • And if all supporting letters have been submitted.

In addition, The Partnership may be considering applications for funding from more than one community at a time, and in this instance, communities may compete for available grant funds.

Q: Can I copy and paste information into my Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant application from a Microsoft Word document?

A: Copying and pasting data into an application form from Word may lead to errors in the Adobe Reader form. If using the copy and paste function, copy the information from a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, which does not have proprietary fonts or special characters.

Q: What kind of information can be entered into form fields within my application?

A: Applicants must submit their proposal using the proposal application form. No other application format will be accepted.  See the Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant for details on the mandatory components of an application for grant funding.

Q: When will I be contacted about the status of my grant request? How do I know you received my proposal? How long does it take for a grant to be processed?

A: The Partnership will acknowledge the receipt of a grant application via email as soon as possible after the application has been received.  The Partnership agrees to complete a preliminary review of any application within 45 days from the end of the month that the application was received.  At that point in time, an application will either be denied or referred to a Second Round Review. Final decisions about funding should be made within ninety (90) days following the end of the month in which an application is received.  Applicants selected to receive grant funding will then receive an awards letter and The Partnership will initiate the development of a grant agreement.