As you are aware, 2020 has been a year of great uncertainty due to the impact of COVID-19 on citizens, businesses, and cities and counties across Tennessee. The State has also been affected and is employing various strategies to address resulting budget shortfalls. The Division of Solid Waste Management has been notified that no grant offerings can occur for this fiscal year (FY21), and perhaps into future fiscal years, because the grant offerings would create future obligations on reserve funds. The Division will be unable to offer any of the Materials Management grants that we were planning for FY21 and CY21 since they are funded from reserve funds.
We apologize for the many difficulties this required change creates for each of you and your employees. The work that our grantees accomplish is critical in meeting goals related to increasing recycling and reducing waste generated and disposed in landfills across Tennessee. TDEC is dedicated to assisting the cities and counties with continuing to meet the various deadlines for the required annual reporting. TDEC staff will be reaching out to grantees and stakeholders in the next few weeks to offer assistance on projects that may be in the planning stage. In addition, during the upcoming fiscal year we plan to work more closely with cities and counties regarding your needs related to solid wastes and materials management. We want to ensure that your needs are being met to the greatest extent possible.
We will be scheduling a Webex meeting in the near future to answer any questions you may have related to this change of direction and the future of the Materials Management grant program.
Thank you for everything you have accomplished in the past. We look forward to having this difficult financial period behind us so we can work together to continue to accomplish the goals of waste reduction and increased recycling across Tennessee.