Webinar: Funding Zero Waste Projects Under EPA’s CPRG Program

Date: 18 Dec 2023 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On January 24th, 2024, this webinar highlighted strategies for accessing funding under EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) Program. The CPR Campaign: Resuscitate the Climate is a joint effort of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Zero Waste USA, and the National Recycling Coalition, which are hosting this event. 

Presentations covered strategies to strengthen Priority Climate Action Plans (PCAPs) and submit strong applications with Zero Waste projects. Featured speakers from CPRG lead organizations and key advocacy groups, and a presentation by an EPA CPRG Leadership Team representative shared program information, approaches to developing holistic PCAPs, managing applications, and collaborating across sectors. Presenters also reviewed model language for PCAPs, a key step in qualifying for funding, and strategies for receiving high scores on implementation project proposals.


Date: January 24, 2024

Watch the Recording




EPA’s CPRG Program has $4.6 billion in competitive grants to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, benefit local communities, and deliver cleaner air. Nearly every state, dozens of metro areas, and many territories and tribes are drafting PCAPs with strategies and projects to serve as a framework for competitive CPRG applications. 

The mission of the CPR Campaign is to uplift waste reduction and materials conservation projects for this historic funding opportunity. A Zero Waste framework embedding waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting strategies rooted in and serving local communities will protect the climate while enhancing social equity, economic opportunities, food systems resilience, and quality of life. Learn more about our vision here

Additional information and resources on the CPR Campaign can be found here.



Rich Damberg

Senior Policy Advisor, USEPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Triangle Park, NC
Representative, EPA’s CPRG Leadership Team

Rich Damberg is a senior policy advisor in USEPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards in Research Triangle Park, NC. He currently serves on the leadership team for the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program. In his 33 years with USEPA, Rich has served as manager of the State and Local Programs Group, providing national leadership for implementing the national ambient air quality standards. He has also served as a team leader for the PM2.5 implementation and regional haze programs, and worked on a number of international air quality and climate related projects.

Jeremy Drake

Principal, Strategy Zero Waste Solutions, Missoula, Montana

Jeremy Drake is a Zero Waste consultant with over 10 years of experience in community Zero Waste planning, project management, program design and implementation, collection system procurement, stakeholder engagement, technical assistance, and education. He holds an MA in Urban Sustainability from Antioch University Los Angeles and is a Zero Waste USA-certified Zero Waste Associate. After a decade in the nonprofit sector supporting youth musical development and building materials reuse — as well as a brief stint driving a food scraps collection truck — Jeremy is now principal of Strategy Zero Waste Solutions, a Missoula-based firm specializing in optimizing systems to reduce waste.

Jeremy will describe the cross-sector approach that activists are using to engage in the PCAP process. Collaboration amongst a sectorally and geographically diverse group of individuals and entities resulted in the submission of ideas from a broad-based partnership offering a holistic vision for climate pollution reduction in Montana.

Kristine Kubat

Executive Director, Recycle Hawaii, Hilo, Hawaii

Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Kristine is a 40-year resident of Hawaii who lives in Hilo in close proximity to her two children and five grandchildren. Kristine comes to the National Recycling Coalition Board with a lifetime of involvement in environmental and social justice activism. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Recycle Hawaii where she puts a wide ranging background in politics, advocacy, journalism, project management and community outreach in service to the organizations’ mission.

Brenda Platt

Director, Composting for Community Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Washington, DC

Brenda Platt leads the Composting for Community Initiative at the national nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where she has worked 37 years promoting zero waste, non-burn solutions to trash. She has authored dozens of reports including Stop Trashing the Climate and Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting. Brenda is nationally known for her work documenting the jobs through reuse, recycling, and composting. Her current focus is advancing local composting options. She emphasizes the power of compost to enhance soils, protect the climate, and foster healthy communities. In 2017, the US Composting Council awarded her its H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts. In 2019, BioCycle magazine featured Brenda as one of its organics recycling trailblazers. In 2022, the U.S. EPA recognized ILSR for advancing community composting in the Mid-Atlantic. She has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from The George Washington University.

Brenda’s presentation will focus on model composting measures and sample equity language for PCAPs.

Sandra West

Sustainable Waste Specialist, Sustainability Office, City of Albuquerque

Sandra West is the City of Albuquerque’s Sustainable Waste Specialist. She is serving as the interim grant manager for EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant for the Albuquerque metro area and leading the effort to include waste prevention in their Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) and subsequent funding application. Since joining the City in April 2022, Sandra has expanded her waste reduction work to include community composting and food waste prevention while collaborating across agencies and community-based organizations. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and a master’s in biology. Sandra has worked for municipalities, non-profit organizations, and contractors. She has helped start a zero waste program, taught zero waste activities in schools and for groups of all ages, and led winning federal grant applications. 



Leslie Lukacs

Executive Director, Zero Waste Sonoma
President, National Recycling Coalition

Leslie Lukacs has worked for over 20 years in the solid waste and resource management industry.  She is the Executive Director of Zero Waste Sonoma, formally known as the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, and oversees household hazardous waste, recycling, organics, and Zero Waste programs for 10 jurisdictions in Sonoma County. Prior to this appointment, she was the Director of Zero Waste at SCS Engineers, a solid waste, recycling, and organics management consulting firm, for 13 years. Leslie also had her own Zero Waste consulting company for 7 years. Leslie currently serves as President of the National Recycling Coalition, is on the Board of Directors of Californians Against Waste and the Zero Waste International Alliance, and is an Advisor to Zero Waste USA. She is also the founder of numerous stakeholder groups including the California Resource Recovery Association’s Green Initiatives for Venues and Events (GIVE) Council, Compost Coalition of Sonoma County, Sonoma County Zero Waste Task Force, and the Zero Waste North Bay Symposium.  


Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass via Flickr

Julia Spector - Research and Policy Associate
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Julia Spector

Julia Spector is the Research and Policy Associate for the Composting for Community Initiative. She works to amplify the team’s policy and advocacy efforts to advance community composting from the local to the federal level. Julia has dedicated her career to promoting social and racial justice, working at organizations focused on democracy, economic, and youth issues.