TACOMA, Wash. – The City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Solid Waste Utility was recently awarded more than $2.5 million in grants by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology. The grants recognize the City’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible waste management, as well as its dedication to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.
“I am proud of our Environmental Services team and their work to secure these grants that will expand our Community Ambassadors Program and bring a state-of-the-art electric solid waste truck to our community,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “These improvements will support our decarbonization efforts and Climate Action Goals, and ensure we have the right messengers on the ground to engage our diverse community.”
Expansion of Nationally Award-Winning Community Ambassador Program,
Equitable Education and Outreach to Tacoma’s Diverse Community
A $1,999,806 grant awarded by the EPA through its Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program, a key initiative under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support the City of Tacoma’s expansion of its nationally award-winning Community Ambassador Program and increase equitable education and outreach to Tacoma’s diverse community. The EPA’s Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program is designed to inform the public about residential or community recycling or composting programs; provide information about the materials that are accepted as part of residential or community recycling or composting programs; and increase collection rates and decrease contamination across the nation. Out of more than 300 applicants, the City was selected as one of 25 recipients, representing 8.3% of successful applications.
“This is an exciting grant for the City’s Environmental Services Department and our community,” said Council Member John Hines. “Keeping Tacoma beautiful is one of my top priorities and I am thrilled that Environmental Services has been recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability and responsible waste management. I am especially pleased to see the expansion of the Community Ambassador Program and look forward to their efforts to further engage and educate our residents on how to increase their recycling efforts and expand our circular economy.”
Procurement of Zero-Pollution Service Truck
A $560,196 grant awarded by the Washington State Department of Ecology will facilitate the replacement of an aging Solid Waste Management diesel truck with a state-of-the-art battery electric garbage truck and the necessary charging infrastructure. Due for replacement, the City’s current 2009 engine year diesel truck will be phased out by a zero-pollution electric vehicle quietly moving through Tacoma’s neighborhoods.
“I am very proud of Environmental Services’ dedication to environmental stewardship, and I have no doubt these grants will help us continue to be a leader in the region for environmental sustainability,” said Deputy Mayor Kristina Walker. “The opportunity to replace an old diesel garbage truck with a new electric model is particularly great news for our city. We need to continue transitioning City vehicles to electric models to further reduce our carbon footprint and lower air pollution in our city.”
More information on the City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Department is available at cityoftacoma.org/ES.