In November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced grants totaling $170,907 to support Sustainable Materials Management projects in Ohio. Recipients included the Center for EcoTechnology, RTI International, and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

A systematic approach to use and reuse materials, Sustainable Materials Management is designed to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, and reduce costs. Projects associated with the program aim to either enhance plastics recycling markets, prevent food waste, or divert it from landfills.

Breaking Down the $170,907 Funding

Here’s a closer look at where these EPA grants are going and how they will be used.

  • Center for EcoTechnology $58,964. This funding will be used to implement food waste prevention and diversion techniques in some of Southwest Ohio’s large institutional kitchens.
  • RTI International $51,943. Using the money from the grant, RTI International will partner with stakeholders in Southeast Ohio to create a framework to boost collaboration and support in the plastics recycling industry.
  • Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio $60,000. The grant will be used to leverage the ongoing regional efforts of the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative’s new “Save More Than Food” campaign.

EPA Sustainable Materials Management Program

Designed to change how society views the use of natural resources and environmental protection, the SMM program seeks to find new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, and lower costs. The program includes EPA staff and management from across the country, along with stakeholders from states, industries, and non-governmental organizations.

Three strategic priority areas have been selected as a focus for the SMM’s efforts from 2017-2022, which include the following.

  • The Built Environment. Conserve materials and create a community resiliency to climate change by improving construction, maintenance, and enhanced management to the country’s aging roads, buildings, and infrastructure no longer fit for safe use.
  • Sustainable Food Management. Concentrate on reducing the amount of food that is lost and wasted.
  • Sustainable Packaging. Boost the quantity and quality of materials retrieved from municipal solid waste and enhance collection and processing infrastructure.

Other SMM target areas include sustainable electronics management, measurement, life cycle assessment, and international SMM initiatives.

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