Front Range Waste Diversion Program

About FRWD

Grants | Request for Applications (RFA)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.

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Currently, there are no open Requests for Applications (RFAs). Projects selected for funding from applications submitted in response to RFA ZW030422 will be communicated to awardees in mid-May 2022.

Coming soon: Front Range Waste Diversion request for application #BF083122

The Colorado State Legislature established the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise (FRWD, or “forward”) in 2019 to advance sustainable waste diversion across the Front Range. The FRWD Enterprise consists of the FRWD board of directors (board) and staff from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), and provides grants and technical assistance to Front Range communities—including local governments, businesses, institutions, and other entities engaged in Zero Waste solutions—to increase waste diversion to achieve the following waste diversion goals: 39% by 2026 and 51% by 2036. The FRWD enterprise fund is financed by an increase in user fees at Front Range landfills. Collection of these fees began in January 2020 and will increase over the next several years, ultimately providing an estimated $15,000,000 per year.

This request for application (RFA) focuses broadly on all aspects of Waste Diversion & Reduction on the Front Range including, but not limited to, projects that address recycling, organic waste and composting, construction & demolition materials, waste reduction and reuse. Colorado’s current recycling and composting rate is 15%, far below the national average of 32%, with the Front Range, which contains 85% of Colorado’s population and 85% of its waste, lagging even further behind state diversion goals. Colorado’s recycling and composting rate has largely stagnated in recent years and is barely keeping up with population growth, although many promising efforts have been initiated that should help to increase this rate in the future. The FRWD board of directors particularly invites grant applications for efforts that would meaningfully move this needle on waste diversion.

Eligible applications can be from affected municipalities, haulers, or for-profit or non-profit supporting entities working to increase waste diversion on the Front Range. FRWD focus areas for this Waste Diversion RFA include projects addressing:

  • Recycling collections, processing, and remanufacturing using recycled materials.
  • Organic waste (including yard debris, grass clippings, and food scraps) collections and processing to create compost and other beneficial products.
  • Construction and demolition (C&D) waste diversion and reduction, including deconstruction programs, and end market development for unique C&D materials.
  • Programs and policies to promote waste reduction and reuse.
  • Other creative ideas for increasing waste diversion.

The ideal grant application will propose a project centered around planning, adoption, implementation, or expansion of at least one of the following criteria: infrastructure, end market development and/or expansion of existing end markets, or local policy/ordinance adoption and implementation, which may include funding for staff. We will encourage awardees to share information on their projects with other Front Range communities, including results and lessons learned. 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 Letter of Intent (LOI). Jace can be reached at

New: two-stage application process

FRWD RFA #BF083122 will be utilizing a new two-stage application process. The first stage will be open to all interested applicants to submit a 1500 word (approximately one to two-pages) Letter of Intent (LOI) in which applicants describe their proposed project based on the published criteria. The FRWD board of directors will then review the submitted LOIs and invite select applicants to progress to the second stage. During the second stage, applicants will submit a full application as described in the RFA. Please note that only applicants who have submitted an LOI, and are then provided a link to apply by the FRWD board of directors, will be able to submit a full application. Importantly, you must submit an LOI to be considered for funding. Details regarding what to include in the LOI will be described in the full RFA published on June 1, 2022.

Please email if you have questions regarding the two-stage application process.

This is the sixth round of grant funding under the FRWD grant program. Subsequent grant funding opportunities are planned to be published three (3) times per year. The focus of each RFA will alternate between a community zero waste focus and a special-focus topic to be decided by the FRWD board.

For questions unrelated to permitting requirements, please contact Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt at Importantly, once the RFA is published, all questions must be submitted in writing and individual conversations with department staff will not be available.

Schedule of activities (updated May 5, 2022)

All documents and communication will be posted on

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


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.


Front Range Waste Diversion baseline assessment

The FRWD Program contracted with Eco-Cycle to collect data on the current state of waste diversion programs and policies within the municipalities and counties of Colorado’s Front Range. The data collected includes the number of Front Range residents who have access to services like curbside recycling for a fee; universal, bundled, or pay-as-you-throw (PAYT); yard waste diversion, and curbside organics collection. The data establishes a baseline number for municipalities that have already adopted a waste reduction and diversion plan and municipalities who may require additional assistance to establish a program, which will assist the board’s assessment of the effectiveness of board’s activities and allow the board to manage future grant offerings along the Front Range. The report was presented to the FRWD board in December 2021.

Front Range Waste Diversion baseline assessment data

Trouble viewing? Access the FRWD baseline assessment data from Tableau or view the reports below.

Report: Front Range Waste Diversion baseline assessment.

Presentation of report findings: FRWD baseline assessment on Waste Diversion Programs.


Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt

Christina Cain

Erin Girard

Sonya Hansen

Megan Vinet