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Regional Solid Waste Grants Program

Program to provide grants to regional councils of governments to fund solid waste management activities and various local and regional projects that help implement solid waste management plans.

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General Information

In accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC) 361.014Exit the TCEQ, 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-third 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

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.

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 countyExit the TCEQ in which the local government is located or the TCEQ Waste Permits Division.

Another source of information is the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC)Exit the TCEQ. 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.

Eligible Applicants

Entities eligible for funding under this program include:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • 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 2020/2021 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 THSC, Chapter 363, Subchapter DExit the TCEQ, as implemented by TCEQ rules in 30 TAC Chapter 330, Subchapter OExit the TCEQ.

    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.

  • Citizens' 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.

Regional Solid Waste Grants Program Funding Report

The COGs are required to issue a biennial report to the legislature detailing how revenue received for the Regional Solid Waste Grants Program was spent [THSC 361.014(b)Exit the TCEQ].

Data, including financial and activity reports, received from the 24 COGs through the TCEQ Waste Permits Division is used to create the Regional Solid Waste Grants Program Funding Report. This report summarizes the projects funded by each of the planning regions. It also provides an outlet to highlight challenges and successes found within each region.

Regional Solid Waste Grants Funding Reports are available on the Municipal Solid Waste page of the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC)Exit the TCEQ.

Resources for Developing the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan

Regional solid waste management plans (RSWMP) are used by COGs to coordinate and plan the management of solid waste. In coordination with the Texas Association of Regional Councils, the TCEQ developed the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan Volume I Form, Regional Solid Waste Management Plan Volume II Form, and Instructions to be used by the state’s 24 councils of governments (COGs). Resources and helpful links are provided to assist COGs in developing their regional solid waste management plan. Planning organizations with questions about the form can contact the TCEQ Business and Program Services Section by emailing MSWper@tceq.texas.gov and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Draft Regional Solid Waste Management Plans

RSWMPs are used by the COGs to coordinate and plan the management of solid waste. These plans contain projections of the solid waste management needs for each planning region over the next 20-year period and the prioritized actions to address those needs. The Regional Solid Waste Grant Program provides funding to the COGs to implement projects that support the goals and objectives of their approved RSWMPs. The content requirements for the RSWMP's are listed in 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 330, Subchapter O.

The RSWMPs cover the 2022-2042 plan period. In accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code, §363.062(f), the commission will conduct a formal rulemaking to adopt all approved regional solid waste management plans and incorporate those plans into 30 TAC, Chapter 330, Subchapter O. The rulemaking will include a formal 30-day comment period and response to comments.

Copies of the proposed plans are available in the table below. 

COG Name Counties Link to Draft RSWMP
Alamo Area COG Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, McMullen, Wilson application/pdfDraft Plan for AACOG
Ark-Tex COG Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River, Titus application/pdfDraft Plan for ATCOG
Brazos Valley COG Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, Washington application/pdfDraft Plan for BVCOG
Capital Area COG Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays Fayette, Lee, Llano, Travis, Williamson application/pdfDraft Plan for CAPCOG
Coastal Bend COG Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio application/pdfDraft Plan for CBCOG
Central Texas COG Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, Mills, San Saba application/pdfDraft Plan for CTCOG
Concho Valley COG Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Reagan, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, Tom Green application/pdfDraft Plan for CVCOG
Deep East Texas COG Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler application/pdfDraft Plan for DETCOG
East Texas COG Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, Wood application/pdfDraft Plan for ETCOG
Golden Crescent RPC Calhoun, Dewitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria application/pdfDraft Plan for GCRPC
Houston-Galveston
Area Council
Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, Wharton application/pdfDraft Plan for HGAC
Heart of Texas COG Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, McLennan application/pdfDraft Plan for HOTCOG
Lower Rio Grande Valley DC Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy application/pdfDraft Plan for LRGVDC
Middle Rio Grande Valley DC Dimmit, Edwards, Kinney, LaSalle, Maverick, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Zavala application/pdfDraft Plan for MRGDC
North Central Texas COG Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, Wise application/pdfDraft Plan for NCTCOG
Nortex RPC Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Jack, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger, Young application/pdfDraft Plan for NRPC
Permian Basin RPC Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward,  Winkler application/pdfDraft Plan for PBRPC
Panhandle RPC Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler application/pdfDraft Plan for PRPC
Rio Grande COG Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio application/pdfDraft Plan for RGCOG
South East Texas RPC Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Orange application/pdfDraft Plan for SETRPC
South Plains AG Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Terry, Yoakum application/pdfDraft Plan for SPAG
South Texas DC Jim Hogg, Starr, Webb, Zapata application/pdfDraft Plan for STDC
Texoma COG Cooke, Fannin, Grayson application/pdfDraft Plan for TCOG
West Central Texas COG Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, Throckmorton application/pdfDraft Plan for WCTCOG

Contact the Waste Permits Division

Please contact the Waste Permits Division at (512) 239-2335 if you have any questions about solid waste grants.