|Recycling Expansion and Modernization (REM) Program
|DCEO's REM Program helps Illinois businesses and organizations to become "greener." The REM Program is an opportunity that is good for business, good for the environment, and good for Illinois (more jobs!). By awarding matching grants to Illinois businesses for Market Expansion, and Waste Management Modernization projects, the REM Program diverts materials from the solid waste stream, thereby conserving our natural resources, boosts the performance of Illinois businesses to sustain and expand the Illinois economy, and demonstrates the public economic benefits of job creation.
- Market Expansion project: modernizes key functions in a business or organization that manufactures recycled-content products or uses recyclable commodities in providing a service. The purpose is to increase the use of recyclable commodities as feedstock in manufacturing, thereby expanding markets for these reclaimed materials.
- Waste Management Modernization project: improves a company's approach to solid waste management. Projects involve best practices in solid waste management including (a) source reduction activities that prevent the generation of solid waste, (b) waste reduction activities that recycle or reuse industrial or other solid waste materials, and/or c) improvements in product packaging.
- Market Expansion: The REM Program provided a matching grant to a manufacturer of recycled content plastic products. The purpose of the project was to modernize and expand the manufacturing capacity of the facility. Grant funds were used to offset the expense of the purchase of new equipment required to increase production volume. As a result of the project, the company increased its use of plastic recyclable material as feedstock, increased sales, and created new full time jobs.
- Waste Management Modernization: The REM Program provided a matching grant to an Illinois company to modernize the company's solid waste management methods. The project focused on a problematic waste stream that previously had been discarded and landfilled. Grant funds were used to offset the expense of new equipment required to process the material into a value-added form that was then marketed and sold to external markets, for use as feedstock in a manufacturing firm. As a result of the project, the company recycled the previously-discarded material, reduced its waste management costs, added revenue from sales of the reclaimed material, and diverted the material from the landfill.
Levels of Service
- Implementation Service: provides funding assistance for capital equipment required for the implementation of new procedures or systems. Equipment must be advanced to the commercialization stage, and is available “off-the-shelf.” The proposed procedures or systems must facilitate the attainment of REM Program goals.
- Demonstration Service: provides funding for the demonstration of an innovative new technology, practice or product that supports REM Program goals. Projects may involve a technology, practice or product that has not been demonstrated in Illinois or in particular regions of the state. Projects will not involve widely commercialized technologies or practices that are considered standard industry practice.
- Assessment Service: provides funding for an organization to obtain valuable information that will be used to implement changes that support REM Program goals. Grant funds are used for contractual technical services and consultant fees. An assessment service reviews the feasibility and benefits of various improvement options, while analyzing and diagnosing problems, identifying opportunities, and recommending priority actions for improvement.
- Eligible applicants: for-profit businesses, governmental entities, colleges and universities, and not-for-profit organizations.
- Eligible project types: Market Expansion or Waste Management Modernization
- Applicant investment (match) requirement: 40% of total project cost, in cash.
- Eligible materials: municipal solid waste such as plastics, fiber (paper and cardboard), glass, wood, construction and demolition waste, and others (note: materials classified as hazardous or special are not eligible).
- Eligible project expenses: determined by the specific REM level of service, but may include capital equipment and/or consultant services.
- Ineligible project expenses: routine operating expenses; purchase, rental or remodeling of real property (land or buildings); rolling stock, and other items.
A maximum funding level is established for each Level of Service. DCEO reserves the right to determine the actual grant amount based upon the level of funding available, the Department’s priorities, and the merits of a specific application with regard to REM Program goals.
Project Evaluation Criteria
Each eligible application is independently evaluated based on criteria that include:
- Applicant/company capacity for REM project management
- Feasibility of the proposed project
- Potential impact on materials diversion (tonnage)
- Potential impact on improved performance or competitiveness of applicant and/or Illinois recycling industry (increased sales or reduced operating costs)
- Potential public economic benefit (job creation and retention)
Mike Motor, REM Program Manager