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The Municipal Waste Recycling Program (MWRP) is a four-year, USAID-funded initiative to address the global problem of marine plastics pollution, with a focus on Asia. Funded under the Making Cities Work IDIQ, the Program provides grants and technical assistance to support promising municipal waste recycling efforts, evaluate their effectiveness, and make recommendations for future USAID investments in the sector. Asian countries are responsible for more than half of the mismanaged plastics waste in the world’s oceans. The Program will thus focus on identifying and scaling innovations that improve solid waste management (SWM) and recycling practices in three Asian countries that are currently experiencing problems with plastics waste entering the marine environment: the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. With proximity to two oceans, improving the management of municipal waste in these countries is imperative to reducing plastics pollution, which threatens human health and adversely affects the marine environment. In support of this objective, the Program entails three interrelated components:

1.     Grants Program:

The Program will disburse USD 3.5 million in grants to support innovative and/or scalable SWM and recycling activities that promote social inclusion, generate jobs and economic growth, and strengthen climate resilience. Funding will be made available through an Annual Program Statement open to eligible non-profit and for-profit organizations as well as academic and scientific institutions in the three Program countries and in the United States. Concept notes or grant applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed quarterly. The first deadline for submission is no later than March 31, 2017.

2.     Evaluation and Learning:

Grants program results will be evaluated regularly and used to develop lessons learned and recommendations to inform future USAID investments in municipal waste recycling. MWRP will analyze the effectiveness, investment potential, sustainability, and scalability of grant-funded projects. The team will combine lessons learned and in-depth research to generate and disseminate knowledge products through stakeholder workshops, conferences, articles, technical briefs, and other publications.  

3.     International Cooperation on Waste Management:

The Program will facilitate international cooperation between USAID and national, regional, and/or international stakeholders actively engaged in reducing marine plastics pollution. At minimum, this includes technical support for a strategic partnership with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Virtual Working Group on Marine Debris. The Program will convene and document stakeholder cooperation activities, and provide constructive recommendations for advancing USAID partnerships and identifying investment opportunities in waste management.

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