Front Range Waste Diversion Program

Now accepting applications

We are currently accepting applications for two Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) Board members:

Selected representatives must be engaged in recycling, reuse, or composting activities in one of Colorado’s Front Range counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller, or Weld.

If you would like to be considered as a member for this important hardworking board, please complete the appropriate application, Front Range County or For/Nonprofit, and return to Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt via email:, no later than October 22, 2021. If you have any questions about the board or its duties, please contact Kendra by email as listed above or by phone at 720-588-0040. You may also visit the FRWD Board of Directors web page for additional information.

About FRWD

FRWD Grant Opportunity | Grants | Resources

The Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD, or “forward”) program provides grants and technical assistance to Front Range communities to increase recycling, composting, and waste reduction. The FRWD enterprise consists of the FRWD board of directors and program administrative staff at CDPHE.

The current three-year strategic plan identifies goals in three focus areas:

  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Municipal solid waste, including organics and recycling.
  • Non-municipal solid waste, focusing on construction and demolition debris.

The Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD, or “forward”) program and enterprise fund was approved by the Colorado state legislature in 2019 and collects funds from an increase in user fees at Front Range landfill to provide grants and technical assistance to Front Range communities to increase recycling, composting, and waste reduction.

Please continue to monitor this webpage for updates, or subscribe to FRWD funding opportunity email updates.

Check out upcoming grant opportunities and key differences between the RREO and FRWD programs.



Grant Opportunity

Coming Soon: Front Range Waste Diversion Organic Waste and Composting RFA

The upcoming Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) request for applications (RFA) will focus on Organic Waste and Composting, which is essential to reaching Colorado’s waste diversion goals and is a major priority of the FRWD board of directors. Applications are invited that plan to establish or expand programs, policies, and infrastructure to reduce organic waste or to increase organic waste collections, processing, and beneficial end markets and applications. Collection of organic materials—including yard debris, grass clippings, and food scraps—has grown fivefold in Colorado over the past decade to well over 500,000 tons in 2019, yet organic waste still makes up over one-third of Colorado’s waste stream. These materials could be easily diverted into beneficial end uses such as composting or anaerobic digestion; benefits include reducing methane emissions from landfills and rebuilding of healthy soils with better water retention and increased carbon sequestration through finished compost application, along with associated job creation and economic growth. New programs and infrastructure are needed to improve organics collection, processing, and end markets. Only seven Front Range cities provide residents with curbside yard debris or food scrap collection. Further, Colorado has only 15 compost facilities permitted to accept food waste (Class III), with just two new permits issued for food composting in the past five years despite Colorado’s growing population.

Eligible applications can be from affected municipalities, haulers, or for-profit or non-profit supporting entities, and may include funding for staffing for program adoption and implementation, as well as physical infrastructure such as processing equipment.

FRWD especially encourages applications for additional organic waste processing infrastructure, which includes the planning, engineering, and construction of new facilities, where there is documented public support (e.g., from the local jurisdiction) for the siting of a new facility and demonstrated progress in the permitting process. Anyone intending to pursue a permitted compost facility should contact Jace Driver at CDPHE to discuss permitting requirements and timelines before submitting a FRWD grant application.

Appropriate grant projects could include:

  • Infrastructure to increase collection and processing of organic waste to produce compost or other products.
  • Residential organic waste diversion programs (yard waste drop-off, curbside programs including universal, bundled, volume-based pricing).
  • Commercial or institutional organic waste programs (large commercial producers, higher education or public or private schools, non-profit arms of school districts, and other institutions).
  • Local policy/ordinances that reduce generation or increase diversion of organic waste, including programs focused on reducing food waste.

For questions unrelated to permitting requirements, please contact Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt at

Once the RFA is published, all RFA-related questions must be submitted in writing.

  Estimated schedule of activities for FRWD Organics RFA


In response to its first RFA, the Front Range Waste Diversion enterprise has approved over $2 million for nine projects geared toward reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills in Colorado’s Front Range counties. These projects are expected to help keep 18,000 tons from Front Range landfills.

The funded organizations, amount allocated, and projects include:

  • City of Arvada: $500,000 to purchase recycling bins for Arvada’s new curbside recycling program.
  • City and County of Broomfield: $90,000 to develop a zero waste action plan for Broomfield.
  • Colorado State University: $80,810 to expand their existing compost site and program.
  • Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver: $164,651 to upgrade and cover their ReStore storage yard to keep donated material out of the elements.
  • Scraps: $76,908.42 to expand yard waste collections in Edgewater, Arvada, and Wheat Ridge.
  • Town of Erie: $247,078 to relocate Erie’s recycling center and add cardboard and organic waste, and to complete a zero waste policy assessment which responds to the town’s Sustainability Master Plan.
  • Waste Management of Colorado: $500,000 to upgrade sorting equipment in order to save 1,400 tons from going to the landfill every year, reduce contamination, and increase efficiency on the sorting line.
  • We Don't Waste: $199,689 to double the amount of food they rescue and provide to low-income populations in the Front Range.
  • Wompost: $158,185 to provide food and yard waste recycling bins in Aurora.

In response to its second RFA, the Front Range Waste Diversion enterprise has approved over $1.4 million for five projects geared toward reducing the amount of construction and demolition waste sent to landfills in Colorado’s Front Range counties. These projects are expected to help keep 16,000 tons from Front Range landfills.

The awarded organizations, amount allocated, and projects include:

  • 5280 Recycling Solutions: $350,147 to develop, test, manufacture, and distribute a construction and landscaping material made from recovered drywall, recycled plastics, and other waste materials.
  • National Center for Craftsmanship: $157,190 to deconstruct single-family residential dwellings and collect data measurements from their material types.
  • Perks Deconstruction: $124,900 to establish a facility to manage, sort, and store materials from deconstruction projects.
  • Resource Central: $443,384 for construction reuse facility improvements and a box truck to pick up donations.
  • Western Disposal Services: $338,084 to create a construction and demolition sorting and diversion center.


FRWD contracted with Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) to produce a waste diversion data survey for the Front Range. RSS researched methodologies for tracking and benchmarking progress in waste diversion and identified best practices, including an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of local and comparable out-of-state programs. The final report, accepted by the FRWD board of directors in December 2020, includes recommendations for Colorado and the Front Range region.

RRS Waste Diversion Data Survey

You can download the following documents:

FRWD Strategic Plan

FRWD contract template

Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report

Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report