Recycling Expansion and Modernization (REM) Program

NOTE:  This program is currently closed.  When funding becomes available, announcements will appear in the Program Announcements Section of the Energy and Recycling Homepage.

The REM Program helps Illinois businesses and organizations to become "greener," and is a good opportunity for businesses, good for the environment, and good for Illinois’ economy (more jobs…).  By awarding matching grants to Illinois businesses for Market Expansion and Waste Management Modernization projects, the program diverts materials from the solid waste stream to conserve our natural resources, boosts the performance of Illinois businesses to sustain and expand the Illinois economy and provides for job creation opportunities. 

Market Expansion

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

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. 

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.


  • Eligible applicants:  for-profit businesses, governmental entities, colleges and universities, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • 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.  

Project Evaluation

  • 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) 

For more information contact:

Dee Smith
Office of Energy and Recycling


Illinois Recycling Grants Program (IRGP)

NOTE:  This program is currently closed.  When funding becomes available, announcements will appear in the Program Announcements Section of the Energy and Recycling Homepage.

Through a competitive process, the Illinois Recycling Grants Program provides matching grants to assist local governments, for-profit, and not-for-profit businesses and organizations with establishing or expanding recycling efforts. A priority goal of the program is to reduce the amount of recyclable commodities entering the municipal solid waste stream while maximizing the economic benefits of recycling, including job creation.

  • Eligible materials are restricted to paper fiber, plastic, metal and glass (multiple materials required)
  • Eligible applicants include local governments, for-profit, and not-for-profit businesses or organizations and colleges and universities (K-12 schools are not eligible for funding) 
  • Grant funds for the purchase of capital equipment such as recycling carts/containers, collection vehicles, balers, processing machinery, etc. and project necessary expansion and modernization costs 
  • Project examples: curbside recycling, drop-off recycling, colleges, park districts, office buildings, sports facilities, etc. 
  • Projects involving special waste, hazardous waste, and industrial process waste, as those terms are defined in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, as well as landscape waste, wood waste, textiles, electronic waste, used/waste tires, and construction and demolition debris waste, are not eligible for funding under this program.

For more information contact:

David Ross
Office of Energy and Recycling


Food Scrap Composting Revitalization & Advancement (F-SCRAP) Program

NOTE:  This program is currently closed.  When funding becomes available, announcements will appear in the Program Announcements Section of the Energy and Recycling Homepage.

The Department of Commerce commissioned report, Illinois Commodity/Waste Generation and Characterization Study (May 2009) revealed that food scraps are the single largest material category of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfilled in Illinois. In fact, food scraps, generated from such diverse sources as households, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, college dining facilities, and food packaging operations account for 12% of all MSW landfilled in Illinois. Further, composting has been shown to create up to 4 times as many jobs as landfilling the same amount of material and could help businesses and institutions reduce their waste disposal costs. These facts, coupled with the Governor’s signage of Public Act 96-418 that relaxes how food scrap composting facilities are regulated are the genesis for this program.

F-SCRAP is designed to support projects that divert food scraps and other organic material, excluding yard waste, from Illinois landfills for composting or as a source for digestion and increase the quantity of materials composted or digested in Illinois. The Department anticipates that these projects will provide new jobs and other economic and environmental benefits to the state, as well as advance Illinois’ composting and digestion infrastructure. The Department encourages the submission of joint projects or applications that address regional or multi-jurisdictional composting approaches from any combination of two or more governmental, for-profit, or not-for-profit organizations (K-12 schools are not eligible for funding).

For more information contact:

David E. Smith
Office of Energy and Recycling