Regional Solid Waste Grants Program
In accordance with Section 361.014 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, grants are awarded to regional and local governments for municipal solid waste (MSW) management projects through the state's Regional Solid Waste Grants Program. The TCEQ is directed by the Legislature to dedicate one-half of the revenue generated by state fees on MSW disposed of at landfills to grants for regional and local MSW projects.
The TCEQ allocates the funds to the state's 24 councils of governments (COGs) based on a formula that takes into account population, area, solid waste fee generation, and public health needs. The COGs use the funds to develop and maintain an inventory of closed MSW landfills, conduct regional coordination and planning activities, maintain a regional solid waste management plan, and administer pass-through grant programs to provide funding for regional and local MSW projects.
Regional Coordination and Planning
The TCEQ will continue funding for the COGs to maintain a regional coordination and planning role, in addition to the COGs' role in administering pass-through funding for local and regional implementation projects.
The coordination and planning activities include: maintaining the COG's regional solid waste management plan; maintaining a solid waste advisory committee; providing technical assistance and informational programs pertaining to solid waste management; serving as a central point of contact for solid waste management outreach, education, and training programs; and reviewing permit and registration applications for municipal solid waste facilities for conformance with the adopted regional solid waste management plan for that region. The COG may also propose additional coordination activities to support the goals and objectives of their regional solid waste management plan.
The COGs may conduct additional solid waste management data collection efforts and analyses to maintain current data and information concerning the status of municipal solid waste management activities in the region.
Pass-Through Grant Program
- Who to Contact for Further Information
- Eligible Applicants
- Eligible Project Categories
- Supplemental Funding Standards
Typically, COGs begin a pass-through grant application process in the spring of each year. Local governments interested in applying for funding should start planning early for the next funding cycle. Specific funding schedules are available through each COG. The types of projects that may be funded with these grants may vary from region to region, depending on the priorities identified in the regional plans. Prior to developing the grant priorities, each COG is required to hold public meetings to receive input on the proposed grant categories.
All projects must be consistent with the regional solid waste management plans prepared by the COGs and approved by the TCEQ. Also, projects funded with these grants must promote cooperation between public and private entities and may not be otherwise readily available or create a competitive advantage over a private industry that provides recycling or solid waste services.
Who to Contact for Further Information
Local governments interested in receiving more information about applying for pass-through grant funds within a particular planning region should contact the COG representing the county in which the local government is located or the TCEQ.
Another source of information is the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC). The TARC is the state organization of Texas' 24 regional councils of governments. With more than 2,000 local government members, the regional councils of governments join local governments, as well as state, federal, and private partners, to provide less expensive, better planned, and more accountable public services in each region of Texas.
Entities eligible for funding under this program include:
- Public schools and school districts (excluding universities and other post-secondary educational institutions)
- General and special law districts created in accordance with state law with the authority and responsibility for water quality protection or municipal solid waste management, to include river authorities
- Councils of governments
Private and nonprofit entities are not eligible to receive pass-through grants from the COGs. However, projects should promote cooperation between public and private entities. In support of this goal, recipients of a pass-through grant may contract with private and nonprofit entities to provide specific grant-funded services.
Entities required to pay state solid waste disposal fees, whose fee payments are in arrears, as determined by the TCEQ, are not eligible to receive pass-through grant funding from a COG.
Eligible Project Categories
These categories are revised prior to each two-year (biennial) funding period. For the FY 2006/2007 biennium the following project categories have been established by the state.
All funded projects must fit within one or more of these categories. Each COG may further define these categories to fit within the priorities established in the COG's regional solid waste management plan. Eligible applicants are encouraged to check with the applicable COG for the specific project categories for that planning region, as well as for more specific funding limitations and requirements.
Local Enforcement. Projects which contribute to the prevention of illegal dumping of municipal solid waste, including liquid waste. These projects may include programs that investigate illegal dumping problems, educate the public on illegal dumping laws, and prosecute violators. The cleanup and disposal of waste found at an illegal site may not be funded.
Litter and Illegal Dumping Cleanup. Projects may include support for Lake and River Cleanup events, conducted in conjunction with the TCEQ’s and Keep Texas Beautiful Lake and River Cleanup Program. Funded activities may include: waste removal; disposal or recycling of removed materials; fencing and barriers; and signage. Placement of trash collection receptacles in public areas with chronic littering problems may also be funded. Reuse or recycling options should be considered for managing the materials cleaned up under this program, to the extent feasible. Funds may also be used for periodic community collection events, held not more frequently than four times per year, to provide for collection of residential waste materials for which there is not a readily-available collection alternative, such as large and bulky items that are not picked up under the regular collection system.
- Source Reduction and Recycling. Projects which provide a direct and measurable effect on reducing the amount of municipal solid waste going into landfills by diverting various materials from the municipal solid waste stream for reuse or recycling or by reducing waste generation at the source.
Local Solid Waste Management Plans. Projects funded under this category include activities to develop or amend a local solid waste management plan and have it adopted by the TCEQ, in accordance with Subchapter D, Chapter 363, Texas Health and Safety Code, as implemented by TCEQ rule, 30 TAC Chapter 330, Subchapter O.
Some restrictions for this category include plan area coverage and plan development time factors. Entities must coordinate closely with the appropriate COG when applying for funding under this category.
Citizen's Collection Stations, "Small" Registered Transfer Stations. This category includes projects to construct municipal solid waste collection facilities in areas of the state that are underserved by collection services or do not have access to proper disposal facilities. Included are projects to construct a citizen's collection station, as these facilities are defined under the TCEQ's municipal solid waste regulations, and certain municipal solid waste transfer stations, not requiring a permit from the TCEQ. Projects funded under this category may also include periodic community collection events for materials for which there is not a readily-available collection alternative, such as bulky items that are not picked up under the regular collection system.
Household Hazardous Waste Management. Projects which provide a means for the collection, recycling or reuse, and/or proper disposal of household hazardous waste are funded under this category. Grant recipients must coordinate the project with the TCEQ to ensure that all applicable regulations and guidelines are followed.
Technical Studies. Projects which include the collection of pertinent data; analysis of issues and needs; and the evaluation of alternative solutions, public input, and recommended actions to assist in making solid waste management decisions at the local level.
Educational and Training Projects. Educational components are encouraged under the other categories in order to better ensure public participation in the projects. Those educational components will be funded as part of those projects and not separately under this category. This category may include stand-alone educational projects dealing with a variety of solid waste management topics.
Other Types of MSW Projects. The COGs may have also received authorization from the TCEQ for other project categories if identified as a priority need in their regional solid waste management plan.
Supplemental Funding Standards
In addition to the standards set forth in applicable laws and regulations, additional standards apply to all uses of the grant funds. Unless authorization is otherwise specified for in or under the terms of this program, the use of funds provided under this program including pass-through funds, must be in accordance with the supplemental funding standards. The COGs have a complete listing of these additional standards and funding limitations.