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Waste diversion grants and support


Grant programs | Support and resources | Meet our staff | Subscribe to our mailing list


CDPHE administers two waste diversion grant programs, the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) program and the Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) program, aimed at increasing waste diversion in Colorado. Through these programs, we offer technical assistance for end-market development, municipal waste diversion planning, and grant application guidance. We also provide resources to help communities, businesses, and other entities with waste diversion efforts. The Waste Diversion Team administers these programs. Learn more about our waste diversion grants programs and get to know our staff!

Grant programs

FRWD Front Range Waste Diversion logo



The Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD, or “forward”) program provides grants and technical assistance to Front Range businesses, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and schools and universities to increase waste diversion across the Colorado Front Range. FRWD grant opportunities are available to the following thirteen Front Range counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller, and Weld. Visit the FRWD program website for more information about the program and to view open grant opportunities.


The Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) program provides grants, rebates, and technical assistance to businesses, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and schools and universities to increase waste diversion, create local jobs, and promote equitable access to recycling and composting infrastructure in communities across Colorado. Funds are distributed via grants and rebates. Visit the RREO web page for more information about the program and to view open grant opportunities.

To learn more about upcoming grant opportunities and key differences between the RREO and FRWD programs, please view the RREO and FRWD comparison matrix.


Support and resources

Erase the Waste


Erase the Waste is a statewide education campaign focused on recycling and waste reduction. This campaign connects Colorado residents to waste reduction and recycling best practices through social media, television and radio announcements, and written materials. Free educational materials are also available for community use. Visit the Erase the Waste web page to learn more.

In 2021, the RREO and FRWD programs contracted with Colorado recycling nonprofit Eco-Cycle to establish a baseline of waste diversion data throughout the state. Visit the statewide waste diversion baseline assessments webpage to view the results of the Greater Colorado and Front Range waste diversion baseline assessments.

Municipal Management Program logo, letters MMP


The department has made a new waste diversion data collection program available for local governments, called the Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) to address key data gaps across the state. The MMP was designed to create a centralized database of local government waste diversion information that state, county, and municipal agencies can use to improve recycling. The MMP is a program assessment and planning tool that is free and easy for local governments to use. To learn more, please visit the Municipal Measurement Program web page.

NextCycle Colorado logo, circle with mountains, trees and buildings around it



NextCycle Colorado is a business accelerator that challenges businesses, organizations, non-profits, universities, and entrepreneurs to pursue innovative projects that will develop new, or improve existing, recycling and composting end markets in the state. NextCycle helps teams develop business plans, make connections across the state, find partners, understand industry and economic data, identify feedstock, secure funding, and drive toward shovel-ready projects under the guidance of an expert advisory committee. Visit the NextCycle web page to learn more.

In an effort to achieve sustainable behavior change in individuals, the department encourages applicants to integrate principles of Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) into project plans. Research demonstrates that the traditional approach of using ads, brochures, or websites to encourage behavior change does not truly alter behavior. Employing concepts drawn from social psychology, CBSM defines clear steps to accomplish lasting and quantifiable change in human behavior through an iterative process that includes person-to-person contact, social diffusion, and commitments from community members. 

For more information about CBSM, visit the CBSM webpage or contact Liz Kuhn at


Meet our staff

Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt

Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Team Program Manager

Kendra joined CDPHE in 2016 and became the Waste Diversion Team Program Manager in 2021. Prior to joining CDPHE, Kendra worked for the State of Colorado Community College System, and spent many years in the financial services industry. Kendra earned a Master’s degree in Political Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins where her areas of study were public administration and policy and American environmental policy. Kendra oversees the FRWD and RREO grant programs, and leads an amazing team of waste diversion professionals.

Contact: | 303-692-3641

Megan Vinet

Megan Vinet (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Team Grants Work Lead

Megan joined the Waste Diversion Team in 2020, previously working in CDPHE’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division as a Contract Administrator since 2018. Prior to pursuing a career in public service, Megan worked in the private sector supporting the operation of tours, assisting with planning tours, and negotiating and managing hotel contracts for tour groups in North America. She studied Social Sciences at CSU Global. As a team lead, Megan provides support to the grant specialists to ensure grant projects are successful, and writes the RFAs for RREO and FRWD.

Contact: | 303-692-2166

Erin Girard

Erin Girard (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Outreach & Technical Specialist

Erin joined the Waste Diversion Team in 2021. She completed her Master’s degree in Environmental Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, and holds undergraduate degrees in international relations and geography. She also trained as a Master Composter with Denver Urban Gardens in 2022. Previously, Erin worked with the United Nations on drought mitigation and disaster preparedness projects in the Pacific Islands. Erin assists local governments and businesses access resources to expand services and increase waste diversion throughout Colorado. Sign up for office hours with Erin to learn more about our grant offerings, or for technical assistance with your application.

Contact: | 303-692-2107

Liz Kuhn

Liz Kuhn (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Grants Specialist

Liz Kuhn joined the Waste Diversion Team in 2023 after receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Sciences from CU Denver with summa cum laude honors. During her studies, Liz worked on a sustainable urban farm in Wheat Ridge, CO and performed pollinator research with the CU Denver Urban Bee Project. She also has prior administrative experience and is passionate about sustainability and environmental justice. As a contract monitor, Liz provides technical assistance to grantees to ensure the successful implementation of their waste diversion projects.

Contact: | 303-692-2169

Marissa Major

Marissa Major (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Grants Specialist

Marissa joined the Waste Diversion Team in 2023. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Global Studies with a concentration on environment from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Passionate about making the Earth livable for longer, she has built a career in local government creating systems for waste diversion, water conservation, and energy efficiency. As a contract monitor, Marissa provides technical assistance to grantees to ensure the successful implementation of their waste diversion projects.

Contact: | 303-692-2180

Katie Romero

Katie Romero (she/her/hers)
Waste Diversion Grants Specialist

Katie joined the Waste Diversion Team in 2022. Passionate about public service and sustainability, she previously worked for the U.S. EPA Region 8 as an Environmental Engineer protecting air quality in Indian country. She attended Missouri University of Science and Technology where she received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering. As a contract monitor, Katie writes scopes of work to aid in contract development for grantees, and provides technical assistance to grantees to ensure the successful implementation of their waste diversion project.

Contact: | 303-692-2110


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