Front Range Waste Diversion Program


About FRWD

Map of FRWD Enterprise area


Request for Applications (RFA) | Grants | Resources | Contact

In 2019, the Colorado state legislature approved the Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD, or “forward”) program and enterprise fund to collect funds from an increase in user fees at Front Range landfills. The program provides grants, technical assistance, and outreach and education to Front Range communities to increase recycling, composting, and waste reduction efforts.

Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller, and Weld counties make up the FRWD program area, and the FRWD enterprise consists of the 13 FRWD board of directors and program administration staff at CDPHE.

Colorado map with highlighted FRWD counties

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.

If you would like to attend a FRWD board meeting, please contact board facilitator/administrator Cathy McCague at to RSVP and receive the virtual meeting link.

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Accepting board member applications

The Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise (FRWD) is accepting applications for an open seat on the FRWD Board of Directors through October 14, 2022. Two seats are currently vacant for both county and municipality representatives involved in recycling, reuse, or composting activities in one of the state’s 13 Front Range counties (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller, and Weld).

The department’s Executive Director appoints board members. The member appointed for this vacancy will serve a three-year term through October 31, 2025 and may be reappointed for one additional three-year term.

If you would like to join this important group, please complete and email the FRWD board member application with your resume to Cathy McCague at by October 14, 2022. If you have any questions about the board or its duties, please contact Cathy McCague via email or by phone at 720-432-8360. You may also visit the board member web page for additional information.


Request for applications

Open grant opportunity: request for applications now available

Front Range Waste Diversion request for applications (RFA) #ZW111822

Request for Applications (RFA) #ZW111822, which focuses on advancing Front Range communities up the “zero waste ladder,” is now open. The background and overview of the grant offering, as well as the estimated schedule of activities document, are available.

Schedule of activities

Background and overview

Reaching Colorado’s ambitious waste diversion goal will take the active participation of every Front Range community, resident, and business. A key aspect of this vision, as laid out in the 2016 Colorado Integrated Solid Waste & Materials Management Plan, is for every Front Range community to ultimately provide access to universal curbside recycling and compost collection for all residents, using best practices of bundling with trash services and incentivizing through volume-based pricing, also known as Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT). Realizing this vision requires each community to take multiple steps to advance up the “Zero Waste Ladder”. These steps include:

  • Conducting waste stream assessment and planning.
  • Pursuing public process and policy adoption.
  • Implementing programs.
  • Public outreach and education for recycling and composting, either separately or combined.

The Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) Enterprise consists of the FRWD board of directors and staff from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and provides grants and technical assistance to Front Range communities to increase recycling, composting, and waste reduction 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, ultimately providing an estimated $15 million per year to be administered by CDPHE.

This RFA focuses on Advancing Community Waste Diversion. We invite grant applications to support Front Range communities in moving along this progression, regardless of where they are starting from, with the ultimate goal of reaching broad recycling and organic waste diversion goals. Eligible applications will range from communities or local institutions taking the first steps of waste audits and initial planning or comprehensive proposals for full program design and policy adoption to cities with more mature programs applying to increase participation and reduce contamination.

In addition to increasing recycling, addressing organic waste is essential to reaching state waste diversion goals and is a major priority of the FRWD board of directors. Organic waste, including yard debris, grass clippings, and food scraps, makes up over one-third of Colorado’s waste stream but can be easily diverted to create compost and other beneficial products. This RFA also encourages applications for projects that address program planning, adoption, implementation, or expansion focused on organic waste. 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 collection bins. We encourage awardees to share information on their projects with other Front Range communities, including results and lessons learned. The ideal grant application will propose a project centered around development and implementation of at least one of the following criteria:

  • Universal, bundled, PAYT curbside collection of traditional residential recyclables.
  • Residential organic waste diversion programs (yard waste drop-off and/or collection, curbside collection 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).
  • Commercial or institutional cardboard diversion programs.
  • Local policy/ordinances that reduce generation or increase diversion of waste.

This is the seventh round of grant funding under the FRWD grant program. Subsequent grant funding opportunities are expected to be published three (3) times per year in January, May, and September. The focus of each RFA will alternate between a community zero waste focus (like this RFA) and a special-focus topic to be determined by the FRWD board. The board developed this regular schedule to help communities incorporate upcoming opportunities in their planning efforts. The next community zero waste RFAs are planned for release in May 2023 and January 2024, while the next special-focus RFAs are planned for release in January 2023 and September 2023.

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. Jace can be reached at

Applicants may make written inquiries via email to to obtain clarification of requirements concerning this RFA.

All questions for the first round of Q&A must be submitted via email to by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 2022. Questions will be answered by PDF posted to the FRWD webpage on Friday, October 21, 2022.

All questions for the second round of Q&A must be submitted via email to by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2022. Questions will be answered by PDF posted to the FRWD webpage on Friday, November 4, 2022.

Download the full request for applications document: RFA #ZW111822 for complete information:

  Request for applications document: RFA #ZW111822

To get started:

Start a new application for RFA #ZW111822.

Access a previously started application in the Application Portal.

Applications are due no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022.

RFA #BF083122

The submission period for Request for Applications #BF083122 is closed. The notification of finalists is estimated to take place on approximately September 23, 2022. Oral presentations, if requested by the FRWD board, will take place on October 5, 2022. The notification of award is estimated to take place on approximately October 7, 2022. The estimated contract effective date is January 9, 2023.

Schedule of activities (updated May 5, 2022)

All documents and communication will be posted on



The awarded organizations, amount allocated, and projects for the three most recent FRWD grant award summaries are available:



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; this report complements the Greater Colorado Waste Diversion Baseline Assessment dashboard. 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

Sage Gilbert

Erin Girard

Sonya Hansen

Cathy McCague

Katie Romero

Megan Vinet

FRWD Program