TDEC to Accept Applications for Food Waste Management Grants

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 | 9:08am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced today the availability of grant funding for food waste diversion. The Division of Solid Waste Management will be accepting grant applications for organics management through June 30, 2017.

“Food waste is a major contributor to landfill gas emissions and takes up the limited space available in landfills,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “TDEC makes every effort to adapt our grant opportunities to the realities of environmental issues, so these grant awards will support a variety of locally-based solutions. It is our goal to support local community’s efforts toward achieving waste reduction goals.”

Grant offerings will support the entire spectrum of organics management, including but not limited to: composting, food recovery, food donation, education on food waste and recovery, and diversion infrastructure. All of these methods of organics management support TDEC’s 2015-2025 Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan.

In 2015, TDEC initiated the first-ever organics management funding opportunity on behalf of the state targeted at increasing composting. Previous grant winners included Resource Capture, Inc.; Sevier Solid Waste, Inc.; and the Friends of Henry Horton State Park.

Those eligible for the current round of grants include all Tennessee counties, municipalities and organizations which are tax-exempt. Additionally, for-profit businesses will be considered for this grant offering but will be subject to different contingencies. Priority will be given to counties, municipalities, public institutions and non-profits. Consideration will also be extended to applicants who address food waste through education, alternative uses, industrial use, anaerobic digestion and composting.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans dispose of nearly 40 million tons of food in a given year with only roughly five percent diverted from landfills or incinerators. Simultaneously, decaying food waste in landfills adds more than three billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere annually. To combat this environmental and public health hazard, the EPA, TDEC and many other partners are working together to achieve a goal of national food waste reduction by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Grant application materials can be found at http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/article/GRANTS-organics-management-grant. For more information, contact Loretta Harrington at (615) 532-0086 or solid.waste@tn.gov. For more information about TDEC’s Division of Solid Waste Management, visit http://tn.gov/environment/section/sw-solid-waste