Department of Environmental
Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty announced today that businesses
and nonprofit organizations can now apply for a portion of $400,000 in grants
to help increase the use of composted materials in finished products and reduce
the amount of organic waste disposed in landfills.
"Often, people don't stop to think about what is going into the trash,
but by diverting useful materials from landfills we can protect the environment,
create jobs and save money," said McGinty. "Organic waste such as
food, grass clippings, leaves and brush account for more than one-third of all
the trash entering Pennsylvania's landfills. These grants provide incentives
for businesses to find value in these organic materials and turn what was once
waste into a useable product."
McGinty added that diverting organic materials from the waste stream conserves
landfill space and saves disposal costs paid by local governments and businesses.
The Composting Infrastructure Development Grant Program aims to increase the
volume of organic materials being diverted from landfills and helps businesses
increase the use of organic materials in finished products. Applications will
be accepted until July 18 and are available at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us,
The grant program awards for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations
up to $100,000 for projects that incorporate recovered organic materials into
products or increase the amount of organic material processed at composting
Additional consideration will be given to applications that are developed
in consultation with the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center. Additional information
is available at http://www.parmc.org or by phone at (717) 948-6660.
The program is open to start-up operations, as well as existing compost facilities.
Applications will not be accepted from previous grant recipients, although this
restriction will be re-evaluated in subsequent grant rounds.
Composting is a natural process that involves expediting the decomposition
process for organic waste by keeping the material moist and turning it regularly
to increase aeration. Microorganisms break down organic materials such as leaves,
grass and vegetable scraps, forming a nutrient-rich soil enhancement called
compost or humus.
Finished compost adds nutrients to soil and increases moisture retention.
Woody materials from yard waste can be used to create mulch for beautifying
landscapes or controlling weeds.
Pennsylvania's recycling and reuse industry leads northeastern states in employment,
payroll and sales numbers. More than 3,247 recycling and reuse businesses and
organizations made more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales, paid $305
million in taxes, and provided jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual
payroll of approximately $2.9 billion.