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The Vergas compost site is a popular place for locals and area residents to bring tree branches and yard waste. The city of Frazee also has a site.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications for grant funding to expand or improve recycling and composting programs in Greater Minnesota. 

The agency will award approximately $1 million to help counties, cities, townships, or tribal communities reduce the amount of waste entering landfills by establishing best practices to reuse more materials and make recycling or composting programs more efficient and effective.  

Proposals for these grants must include projects that are locally administered, have an educational component with measurable outcomes and include one or more of the following elements:

• Establish curbside recycling or composting.

• Increase recycling or composting.

• Reduce the amount of recyclable materials entering disposal facilities.

• Reduce the costs associated with hauling waste by locating collection sites as close as possible to the site where the waste is generated.

Preferred projects will focus on implementing or expanding local capacity to improve the collection of traditional recyclables such as plastic, glass, metal and paper, improve the quality of recyclables, transition to single-sort recycling collection, or establish or expand reusing materials in their original form. 

Grants may also help establish or expand organics collection and the processing or transfer capacity for source-separated organic materials, or develop or expand programs for hard to recycle and bulky materials such as mattresses, car seats, concrete, shingles, electronic waste, etc.

Minnesota counties, cities, townships, tribal communities or other political subdivisions outside the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area are encouraged to submit proposals for projects. 

If the applicant is a city, the city’s population must be less than 45,000. The maximum grant award(s) is $250,000, per project. Applicants must match at least 25 percent of the grant award.

Applicants that demonstrate they are utilizing best practices and who implement preferred projects will be given priority, but any project that will expand or improve recycling or composting programs in Greater Minnesota is eligible. 

Learn more about this grant opportunity during an online training session on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Applications are due by 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11. For more information on the grants and how to join the online training, visit the MPCA’s grants web page.