The commissioner shall make competitive grants to political subdivisions to establish curbside recycling or composting, increase recycling or composting, reduce the amount of recyclable materials entering disposal facilities, or reduce the costs associated with hauling waste by locating collection sites as close as possible to the site where the waste is generated. To be eligible for grants under this section, a political subdivision must be located outside the seven-county metropolitan area and a city must have a population of less than 45,000.
(a) The commissioner must develop forms and procedures for soliciting and reviewing applications for grants under this section.
(b) The determination of whether to make a grant under this section is within the discretion of the commissioner, subject to subdivision 4. The commissioner's decisions are not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of discretion.
(a) If applications for grants exceed the available appropriations, grants must be made for projects that, in the commissioner's judgment, provide the highest return in public benefits.
(b) To be eligible to receive a grant, a project must:
(1) be locally administered;
(2) have an educational component and measurable outcomes;
(3) request $250,000 or less;
(4) demonstrate local direct and indirect matching support of at least a quarter amount of the grant request; and
(5) include at least one of the following elements:
(i) transition to residential recycling through curbside or centrally located collection sites;
(ii) development of local recycling systems to support curbside recycling; or
(iii) development or expansion of local recycling systems to support recycling bulk materials, including, but not limited to, electronic waste.
If a grant is awarded under this section and funds are not encumbered for the grant within four years after the award date, the grant must be canceled.