NDEE awards $6.7 million in grants across Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, a member of Bio Nebraska, announced this week that they have awarded $6.7 million in grants across the state to support waste and litter reduction, recycling, and scrap tire cleanups.

Announcement from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Director Jim Macy announced Feb. 16 the award of $6,679,007 in grants to support 155 projects across the state. These grants will help fund litter and waste reduction projects, recycling programs, and pay costs for scrap tire cleanups and collections for household hazardous waste, electronic waste, and pharmaceuticals.

“There were many outstanding applications submitted to NDEE this year,” Macy said. “These grants will assist many important local efforts to promote litter and waste reduction and help handle the costs of proper disposal of many materials, such as household hazardous waste and scrap tires.”

Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive funds are generated by a fee on solid waste disposed of in landfills, an annual retail business sales fee, and a fee assessed on the sale of new tires. Grants are provided to local integrated waste management projects, and can include recycling systems, household hazardous waste collections, and composting. For 2022, 27 projects totaling $2,167,173 were funded under the Business Fee and Disposal Fee categories.

Also included in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive program are Scrap Tire funds, which are generated from a $1 fee on new tires purchased in Nebraska. In 2022, 77 grants totaling $2,332,563 were awarded. These grants will fund 33 scrap tire cleanup events across Nebraska. Enough funding was awarded to cleanup up 8,695 tons of scrap tires. Funds will also be used to partially reimburse the cost of many products made from recycled scrap tires, such as artificial turf football, soccer, baseball, and softball fields, athletic running tracks, and playground surfacing.

Litter Reduction and Recycling funds are generated from a fee charged to certain manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of products that commonly contribute to litter. The program has provided grants annually since 1979. In 2022, 51 litter grants totaling $2,179,271 were awarded in the public education, cleanup, and recycling categories. Public education programs educate citizens on litter reduction and recycling through a variety of school and community activities. Cleanup grants provide funding for Nebraska organizations with volunteers who pick up litter and debris along Nebraska’s roadways, waterways, recreation lands, urban areas, and other public use areas within the state. Not only are the public areas improved through the removal of litter, but also much of the material collected is recycled. Recycling programs provide an alternative to the disposal of solid waste in Nebraska’s landfills. Priority is given to programs that promote markets for recycled materials or purchasing products made from recycled materials.

Grant applications for 2023 will be available in early July 2022. Please check our website or contact [email protected] for more information.