Funds for Supporting Anaerobic Digestion in Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now requesting applications for the Supporting Anaerobic Digestion in Communities program with funding amounts ranging from $50,000 – $200,000 per award. Applications are due on October 7.

What is the goal of this program? The goal of this funding opportunity is to increase the use of anaerobic digestion to manage food waste, as well as to support the development of new anaerobic digestion infrastructure in the U.S.

What is anaerobic digestion (AD)? AD is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials. In this instance, “organic” means coming from or made of plants or animals. AD happens in closed spaces where there is no air (or oxygen). AD processes food waste feedstocks (e.g., food scraps, food residuals) into digestates, which may be used as soil amendments. Biogas is also produced throughout the AD process. Biogas is a renewable energy source that can be used to power engines, run alternative-fuel vehicles, and heat buildings.

The initials “AD” may refer to the process of AD or the built system where AD takes place, also known as a digester. The main categories of anaerobic digesters are stand-alone digesters, on-farm digesters, and digesters at water resource recovery facilities. All AD systems adhere to the same basic principles whether the feedstock is food waste, animal manures, or wastewater sludge.

What are the objectives of this program? All applications must achieve one or more of the following program objectives:

  • Develop new or expand existing AD capacity for processing food waste
  • Demonstrate solutions and/or approaches for increasing food waste AD utilization that can be replicated by other communities, governments, or other entities;
  • Support state, Tribal, and/or local government programs that seek to use AD to increase their food waste diversion rates.

What are eligible project activities? Applications may include (but are not limited to) projects that:

  • Increase the use of AD for management of organic wastes and biogas production;
  • Maximize opportunities to utilize existing un-used capacity for digestion or co-digestion;
  • Promote operational innovations to AD systems and processes;
  • Develop solutions to barriers that prevent AD use or development;
  • Overcome barriers associated with using the biogas produced via AD;
  • Present logistical solutions to optimize processing of feedstocks via AD;
  • Evaluate the economic value and marketability of digestate or biogas products;
  • Evaluate feasibility for co-locating an AD facility near a composting operation to process digestate into finished compost;
  • Increase the overall amount of food waste or other organic waste being processed via AD;
  • Create a demand for organic waste feedstocks (especially food waste);
  • Develop and/or improve feedstock (especially food waste) collection networks;
  • Support the development of new AD infrastructure to the extent that the activities are eligible for funding under 42 U.S.C. 6982;
  • Increase the quality of source separated food waste collected to ensure there is a low percentage of contamination (such as packaging) in the feedstock;
  • Establish new or expand existing partnerships (e.g. public/private partnerships) that result in the development of new AD capacity for processing food waste or increase the utilization of existing AD capacity for processing food waste; or
  • Reduce the barrier of cost in the development of AD systems.

What are additional project requirements? Projects are also required to conduct or promote the coordination of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, public education programs, or studies relating to solid waste. This may be accomplished through providing technical assistance, hosting outreach workshops, conducting demonstration projects or feasibility studies, among others.

Who is eligible to apply? Applications will be accepted from States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands), local, Tribal, interstate, and intrastate government agencies and instrumentalities, and non-profit organizations that are not 501(c)(4) organizations that lobby, including non-profit educational institutions and non-profit hospitals. 

Individuals, for-profit organizations, and Federally Funded Research & Development Centers (FFRDCs) are not eligible.

What are the funding levels for this program? Approximately $2 million is available to fund projects in fiscal year 2021. EPA anticipates awarding approximately one to two grants per EPA region (see list of EPA’s 10 regions here) in amounts ranging from $50,000 – $200,000 per award.

Up to approximately $800,000 of the estimated total will be set-aside specifically for awards to the following organizations: U.S. territories; tribal governments; tribal colleges and universities; or eligible organizations located in persistent poverty counties as described in Section III.A of the program’s RFA.

Is there a cost sharing or match requirement? There is no cost sharing or matching requirement. Although cost-sharing/matching is not required as a condition of eligibility, EPA will evaluate voluntary cost share as part of the budget evaluation, as further detailed in Section V of the RFA.

What is the project period? Applicants should plan for projects to begin on March 1, 2022. All project activities must be completed within the negotiated project performance period of two years.

When is the grant deadline? Applications are due on October 7, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Award announcements will be sent via email by December 29, 2021.   

The Request for Applications can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at or call us at 530-893-4764.


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