DHEC to Use EPA Funding for Six Waste Reduction and Recycling Projects in South Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Oct. 3, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. ― A federal grant of nearly $600,000 has been awarded to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to help improve waste reduction and recycling initiatives across the state.
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) grant was offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address solid waste management planning, outreach campaigns, data collection and improvement of waste reduction and recycling initiatives throughout the country. More than $105 million was awarded to recipients including $32 million to states and U.S. territories.
“This grant provides funding for projects that need to be done to enhance solid waste reduction and recycling in the state, and we are grateful to EPA for providing this funding,” said Myra Reece, director of DHEC’s Environmental Affairs. “These projects will play an integral role assisting local government recycling programs throughout South Carolina, providing a fresh picture of the state’s solid waste stream, updating planning and making recycling more convenient for residents.”
The federal funding will be used to support the following South Carolina projects:
• Conduct a waste characterization study. This study will show a representative sample of the type and amount of material being disposed of in South Carolina’s municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The data is essential for local governments in planning to ensure necessary infrastructure, equipment, staffing, and funding are in place for the safe and efficient management of solid waste. The study also will identify material that could have been recycled.
• Update the State Solid Waste Plan. DHEC is required to develop a state plan that prioritizes waste prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and composting over disposal and incineration as well as set statewide waste reduction and recycling goals. The information provided by the waste characterization study will provide a fresh foundation for updating the plan.
• Create a “Recycle Right SC” app. The app will provide residents throughout South Carolina with up-to-date and convenient information on all of the state’s recycling programs, events being held in the community, and recycling options outside the local program as well as waste prevention and other green tips.
• Expand the “Don’t Waste Food SC” (DWFSC) campaign. The outreach campaign is designed to raise awareness of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of wasted food and steps stakeholders can take to reduce food waste at home, work, and school. The waste characterization study will provide fresh disposal and recovery data that will assist local programs to more efficiently manage organics. DHEC also will develop training initiatives for DWFSC Ambassadors to carry the food waste prevention message to their own communities.
• Launch the “Take Charge! Be Battery Smart” campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of human health, safety, and environmental issues of the improper storage, use, disposal, and recycling of batteries.
• Create a construction and demolition (C&D) debris initiative. This project will promote the recovery and reuse of this material, develop markets in partnership with the S.C. Department of Commerce and other stakeholders, and provide technical assistance to local governments, contractors, residents, and others. This is an extremely timely initiative as South Carolina is facing some of the nation’s highest population growth and building boom.
DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling works to support the S.C. Solid Waste Policy and Management Act, which provides the framework for South Carolina to safely and efficiently manage its solid waste in ways that protect the environment, people’s health and public safety.
Learn more about recycling resources and information ― including recent annual reports, local government recycling requirements, food waste reduction tips and more ― visit scdhec.gov/recycle.