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EPA announces grant to expand recycling projects in US territories



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $1.9 million grant to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.


The grant is part of the Biden administration's Investing in America agenda


EPA has selected 25 communities nationwide to receive grants totaling more than $73 million under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling funding opportunity.


In addition, the agency is making available approximately $32 million for states and territories to improve solid waste management planning, data collection and implementation of plans. The grants support the implementation of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy to build an economy devoted to keeping materials, products, and services in circulation for as long as possible — what’s known as a “circular economy.”


“These innovative local government, territory and state grants will solve zero waste challenges across the Pacific Southwest,” said Martha Guzman, EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator.


"EPA is proud to support these groundbreaking efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, advance environmental justice and aid the transition to a circular economy that will bring benefits for decades to come," she added.


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The grant is distributed as follows:


• Guam ($572,065): The Guam Environmental Protection Agency plans to advance zero-waste by providing home composting and gardening training to thousands of residents in all of Guam’s villages. Compost bins and pails will be provided to participants to reduce wasted food, and garden beds will be created to supply home-grown local produce. Training and data collection will be supported by a nonprofit subrecipient.


• CNMI ($612,441): The Commonwealth’s Office of Planning and Development will purchase and repair recycling equipment and hire additional operating staff. Balers on Rota and Tinian will process scrap metal and derelict vehicles, a vehicle on Saipan will manage green waste, and equipment on Saipan will support sensitive data destruction and electronics recycling.


• American Samoa ($753,755): The American Samoa Power Authority will establish, increase, expand and optimize collection and improve recycling infrastructure for all the islands. A project team will develop solid waste management plans, establish transfer stations to collect recyclables on the islands and at the Futiga Landfill, collect recycling data, and conduct public outreach and education.


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According to EPA, Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle out — from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.


EPA said its Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program is also advancing the Justice 40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.


Approximately $56 million out of the $73 million — or 76 percent — of the total funding for communities will go toward projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.




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