In the United States, ever since the 1970s, there has been an effort to increase environmental awareness. Back then, it was called “the ecology movement.” Today, you’ll more often hear reminders to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Over the years, it has become more and more mainstream. Thanks to federal government grants, local and state governments and various organizations and foundations have programs and campaigns in place to advocate recycling and make it easier to do.

In fact, it’s probably become a routine part of your household chores to separate recyclable materials and set them out at the curb for collection. The fact that there is the infrastructure in place to enable the convenience of curbside recycling is the result of government grants that helped to set up and operate the programs. It’s become an everyday part of life, and some cities and states have made recycling mandatory, which has reduced the amount of landfill trash. A side benefit that these government grants incur is that the recycling industry also helps create jobs.

But did you know that there are also government grant available in many places to set up a business or a non-profit to do recycling? There’s money to be made in some types of recyclable materials, and setting up a neighborhood recycling depot can be a smart business idea, especially when there are government grants to get started.

Some types of trash and scrap material are worth money, and increasingly, people want to get money back for their valuable recyclables. This means that neighborhood recycling depots can be profitable ventures. Additional benefits to this type of business include low start-up costs and the fact that you don’t need have to pay a premium to locate in a nice area.

To see whether there are government grants for a recycling business where you live, start by checking your city or state website (you can look at your county or parish, too, but this type of government grant is usually state- or city-level). You’ll be looking for something like a department of environmental protection, division of conservation, or similarly-named agency.

he government grants that exist for recycling come in various forms. Some are matching grants to get started. Some are for small businesses only, often for disadvantaged business owners. Others reward you if you hire workers who would traditionally face barriers to employment, such as developmentally disabled workers. Depending upon what your state and city are offering, you might even be able to double-dip and get government grants as a new business and for doing recycling.

If you have connections with a school or other type of public facility, you’ll find that there are government grants available to implement or expand recycling programs. There may be funding also for education programs to teach children how to integrate recycling in their lives. You won’t directly benefit from these government grants, but if you’re interested in environmental issues, you might want to inquire at your kid’s school to see whether they’re taking full advantage of available government grants for this purpose.

Government grants to start a recycling business benefit everyone. You’ll benefit personally by having a lucrative recycling business, and you can help others through increased employment, a cleaner environment, and the convenience of a neighborhood recycling depot.