EPA awards $469,924 in project funding in KC area

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that $469,924 will be awarded in funding for three sustainable materials management projects in the Kansas City area.

The announcement was made at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Unified Government will receive $95,000 in funding to conduct a feasibility study for an organic material composting facility, including a site evaluate, feedstock and processing technologies evaluation, concept design and financial evaluation, according to the EPA.

The Mid-America Regional Council was selected for $174,924 in funding for a project to address food waste reduction in the nine-county Kansas City region through a Regional Food Waste Reduction Action Plan, food system mapping and an educational campaign.

Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute was selected for $200,000 in funding for a project in Johnson County that will work with industry and community partners to provide on-site technical assistance, identifying and documenting opportunities for food and solid-waste (packaging) source reduction, diversion and recycling.

“By working to reduce the waste going to landfills and stopping pollution at the source,” said acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu, “these sustainable materials management projects will help the Kansas City area become an even stronger and more environmentally friendly community.”

“The UG remains committed to improving air quality and ensuring clean, safe water for Wyandotte County and the surrounding region,” said Mayor-CEO David Alvey, Unified Government. “An organic composting facility could help reduce unnecessary waste going into area landfills, decreasing emissions harmful to the environment, and turning waste into composted materials that can be used for land applications such as an alternative to chemical fertilizers. We appreciate the EPA’s grant assistance to study the feasibility of this project, and value this partnership to improve the quality of life for our community and the region through sustainable materials management.”

“This grant allows MARC to convene regional partners and stakeholders to address food waste in a holistic way through prevention, rescue and composting,” MARC Executive Director David Warm said. “These strategies will get more fresh food to those in need, reduce the financial burden to individual households, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the region’s disposal needs.”

“This new funding will accelerate our solid waste reduction work with Kansas schools, industries and communities,” said Paul Lowe, associate vice president for research and director of PreAward Services at Kansas State University. “It will divert millions of tons of waste from the landfills in Kansas, helping the state and Johnson County meet their solid waste reduction goals while acting as a model for future industrial and community partners.”

Sustainable Materials Management is a systemic approach to using materials more productively and finding new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, and reduce costs over a product’s life cycle. EPA’s SMM program supports efforts to help build community health by reducing the use, release and exposure to toxic chemicals; using life-cycle approaches to reduce the health and environmental impacts of materials use; and employing upstream solutions that reduce the need for and cost of environmental cleanup and pollution management.