Financial Support Available for California Jurisdictions and Businesses
Public Funds, Training, and Incentives to Fuel a Greener Recovery
California recycling manufacturers, cities, counties, haulers, and businesses can access millions of dollars in public and private funding for infrastructure to reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions in their communities. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has compiled potential funding sources, employee training assistance, and other financial incentives that manufacturers and others can use for:
- Edible Food Recovery Programs
- Intermediate and Secondary Recycling Manufacturing Infrastructure
- In-Vessel Digestion Facilities
- Composting Facilities
- Reuse Projects
In addition to financial resources, CalRecycle is providing tools, training, and education to support stakeholders who are taking vital steps to fight climate change and increase green jobs in California.
“Lowering climate emissions and increasing remanufacturing of recycled materials will fight the climate crisis while rebuilding from the COVID-19 downturn,” said CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner. “CalRecycle is working to connect manufacturers with programs that make recycling innovation easier.”
Recyclable materials that can be remanufactured into beneficial products include:
- Food waste
- Green waste
- Construction and demolition materials
- Recycled fibers, plastics, glass, and metals.
CalRecycle offers a number of grants to help public and private entities safely manage and recycle materials.
CalRecycle's greenhouse gas emission reduction grants are funded by California Climate Investments (CCI).
Eligible applicants vary depending on the program but may include:
- Local Governments
- State Agencies
- College Campuses (UC, CSU, and Community Colleges)
- Native American Tribes
CalRecycle has five categories of CCI grants:
- Organics—Composting and digestion projects
- Recycled Fiber Plastic and Glass—Intermediate commodities and recycling manufacturing projects
- Food Waste Prevention and Rescue—Food waste prevention and rescue projects
- Reuse—Reusable food service ware, packaging, transportation, and wood salvage
- Community Composting—Community-based composting projects
Eligible costs and caps vary, but include funding for construction of facilities, equipment, machinery, and personnel.
Grants for Lower-Air-Polluting Equipment
More than $60 million in grant funding for cleaner-than-required engines, equipment, and other sources of air pollution is available through the California Air Resources Board’s Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The Air Resources Board collaborates with local air districts and other stakeholders to set guidelines and ensure the program reduces pollution and provides cleaner air.
Projects that reduce emissions from heavy-duty on- and off-road equipment qualify. This includes:
- Trucks over a 14,000 pound gross vehicular weight rating (or GVWR)
- Off-road equipment such as construction or farm equipment
- Vessels and locomotives
- Forklifts; stationary agricultural equipment
- Other agricultural sources.
For more information on the Carl Moyer Program, contact CARB’s Diesel Hotline 1-866-6DIESEL or contact your local air district.
Grants for Cleaner Transportation
Through the Clean Transportation Program, the California Energy Commission invests up to $100 million annually in projects that support adoption of cleaner transportation from alternative and renewable fuels such as:
Funding for Employee Training
The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to upgrade workers’ skills with training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. Businesses determine their own training needs and how to provide training. ETP staff can assist in applying for funds and taking part in the program.
CalRecycle offers two loan programs:
Both programs provide loans of up to $2 million to support new or expanded organics infrastructure, such as composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, as well as for facilities that manufacture fiber, plastic, or glass waste materials into beneficial products.
For more information about the RMDZ Loan Program, including eligible project types, download the RMDZ Eligibility Criteria.
Loans for Low-Pollution Businesses
The California Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State Treasurer’s Office, administers high-impact financing programs to help stakeholders access private capital, including encouraging financial institutions to make loans to small businesses. It also supports building improved infrastructure for zero- and partial-emission vehicles. For more information, visit:
- California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority
- California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission
- Pollution Control Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program
- California Capital Access Program
- Collateral Support Program
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank)
The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank has broad authority to:
- Issue tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds
- Provide financing to public agencies
- Provide credit enhancements
- Acquire or lease facilities
- Leverage state and federal funds
IBank’s current programs include the Infrastructure State Revolving Fund (ISRF) Loan Program, California Lending for Energy and Environmental Needs (CLEEN) Center, the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan fund, the Small Business Finance Center, and the Bond Financing Program. You can find more information on each program below.
Low-Cost Financing for Infrastructure and Expansion
The Infrastructure State Revolving Fund loan program is authorized to directly provide low-cost public financing for a wide variety of public infrastructure and economic expansion projects to state and local government entities, including:
- Nonprofit Organizations Sponsored by Public Agencies
ISRF financing from $50,000 to $25 million is available with loan terms for the useful life of the project, for a maximum of 30 years.
Loans for Energy and Environmental Needs
California Lending for Energy and Environmental Needs (CLEEN) provides direct public financing to municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals to help meet the state’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction, water conservation, and environmental preservation.
This includes two programs:
- The Statewide Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP)
- The Light Emitting Diode Street Lighting Program (LED)
Financing from $500,000 to $30 million is through a direct loan from IBank.
Statewide Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP)
A CLEEN Center Program for small, medium, and large energy efficiency upgrades and projects for California’s public municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals, SWEEP Projects include comprehensive efficiency improvements to new and existing facilities that save energy.
Light Emitting Diode Street Lighting Program (LED Program)
The LED Program is a CLEEN Center Program for the installation of LED streetlights for public municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals. LED streetlight projects are deemed SWEEP projects for purposes of the CLEEN criteria.
COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program
The IBank Small Business Finance Center has a loan guarantee program for disaster relief that can help small businesses experiencing COVID-related economic damage.
Loan guarantees provided for the Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program help overcome barriers to capital for small businesses that do not qualify for federal disaster funds, including businesses in low-income and immigrant communities.
Loans for Climate Technology and Infrastructure
The Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund (signed into the 2020-2021 proposed budget) is a revolutionary loan fund to streamline implementation of technologically proven climate solutions.
The program features flexible, low-cost credit and credit support to:
- Stimulate commercial investment in infrastructure projects
- Leverage grant programs to advance technologies to market readiness
Loans for Sustainable Infrastructure and Equipment
Generate Capital is a San Francisco-based investment firm that owns and operates sustainable infrastructure projects used by companies, schools, and cities across the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception in 2014, the firm has invested in more than 2,000 projects that other larger infrastructure investors, like private-equity firms and banks, might avoid because they may be too risky or too small, or because they lack operational expertise.
Projects backed by Generate have been as small in value as thousands of dollars and have included residential community solar developments, urban farms, waste-recycling plants, and other sustainable infrastructure from electric buses to geothermal power.
The firm has teamed up with some high-profile partners on larger deals as well. For more information, call 415-360-3063 or email email@example.com.
Loans for Anaerobic Digestion-to-Energy and Power-to-Gas Projects
StormFisher develops and operates facilities that recycle food, waste, energy and water across North America. The company specializes in organic waste-to-energy projects which typically use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert organic waste to biogas. It also develops distributed and utility-scale power to gas projects, using low-carbon power sources to produce green hydrogen or renewable natural gas.
StormFisher partners with a variety of institutions, including municipalities, investors, technology providers, and other developers to manage and operate projects after development.
For more information, call 628-222-6278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loans for Recycling Manufacturing, Anaerobic Digestion, and Composting Projects
Live Oak Bank is a niche lender based in Wilmington, N.C., with a national footprint. It is the largest SBA 7(a) lender by volume in the United States. The project finance team has a special focus on deploying capital to rural communities for infrastructure improvements and renewable energy generation.
The team provides senior debt for growth capital, construction, and permanent financing for a variety of projects in the circular economy including solar, wind, hydroelectric, hydrogen, energy efficiency, anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, composting, and other types of advanced recycling facilities.
LiveOak has a number of financing opportunities in industry-focused areas such as:
- Bioenergy—Waste-to-fuel systems, waste-to-energy technologies and bioproducts such as anaerobic digesters, landfill gas systems, biomass to energy, and biorefineries
- Energy and Infrastructure—Community facilities such as health care, education, public safety, and others. Live Oak also provides up to 40-year fixed-rate financing for water, waste, and stormwater projects for rural and unincorporated communities.
- Solar—Utility-scale commercial and industrial solar, community solar, and energy storage project financing.
Loans for Building a Circular Economy
Closed Loop Partners works to connect municipalities, entrepreneurs, and investors. It offers several funding programs, including the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund, which provides zero-interest loans to municipalities and below-market-rate loans to private companies to improve recycling infrastructure across four primary categories:
- Processing or Reclamation
- End Product Manufacturing
Typical loan size is $3 million to $5 million over a three-to-ten-year term. Each asset-based loan is secured by collateral. The company invests in best-in-class operators who are leaders in their industry. Applications are evaluated on criteria including greenhouse gas emission reduction, material diversion from landfills, economic benefits to the community, and other factors.
Closed Loop Ventures Group partners with companies that reduce waste and increase the use of recycled material in supply chains within the sectors of plastics and packaging, food and agriculture, fashion and apparel, and transparency and logistics.
The company can provide up to $500,000 in initial investment rounds, and tries to continue supporting companies after the first investment with additional capital, connections to industry partners, and support from the broader Closed Loop Partners network.
Financial Development Corporations
California Financial Development Corporation supports small businesses and stimulates economic growth in underserved communities.
For more information:
- Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County
- California Capital Financial Development Corporation
Small Business Loans
CDC Small Business Finance is a nonprofit lender providing capital to small businesses so they can expand, grow, and create jobs in California, Arizona, and Nevada. CDC has provided more than $18 billion in loans to more than 11,000 small businesses.
Financing for Anaerobic Digestion Projects at Wastewater Treatment Plants
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program offers low-cost financing for a variety of projects to clean up and maintain high water quality, including funds for anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment plants, landfill leachate treatments, and more.
The program can finance projects from less than $1 million to more than $100 million.
Payments for Recycling Plastic Beverage Containers
The Plastic Market Development Payment program was created to develop California’s market for recycled empty plastic beverage containers using unredeemed deposit money.
Up to $150 per ton may be paid to:
- A certified processor who washes and produces flakes or pellets
- A product manufacturer who uses the plastic material from the certified processor to manufacture a plastic product in the state.
To be eligible for payment, certified processors and product manufacturers must each submit a Plastic Market Development Claim Form along with their invoices for each calendar quarter in which payment is claimed.
For more information visit Plastics Programs and Resources.
Payments for Recycling Tires
The Tire Incentive Program provides a reimbursement (as an incentive payment program) to qualifying businesses that use recycled crumb rubber in eligible products or substitute crumb rubber for virgin rubber, plastic, or other raw materials in products. The program’s goal is to increase demand for crumb rubber and promote higher-value products.
Business Development Assistance
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-BIZ) offers a range of no-cost consultation services to business owners, including:
- Retention and Expansion Services
- Site Selection
- Permit Assistance
- Regulatory Guidance
- Small Business Assistance
- International Trade Development
- Assistance with State Government
Income Tax Credit Program—California Competes
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit offered to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in California.
Businesses of any industry, size, or location compete for more than $180 million available in tax credits by applying during one of three application periods each year.
Applicants are evaluated on 12 different factors, including number of full-time jobs created, amount of investment, and strategic importance to the state or region.
Corporate Income Tax Credit for Research and Development
Manufacturers and certain researchers and developers may qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and research and development equipment purchases and leases. The credit is based on the federal research credit and for qualified research activities in California.
For more information on how to file a claim, visit the California Franchise Tax Board.
Sales and Use Tax Exemption on Equipment Purchases
Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate. This exemption is administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and must be claimed when purchasing equipment.
California’s Employment Development Department
The Employment Development Department offers businesses a variety of services and programs at no cost designed to strengthen California’s economy.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit has two purposes:
- To promote hiring members of specific groups.
- To provide employers who hire these individuals a federal tax credit of up to $9,600.
Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing program as a temporary alternative to layoffs if their production or services have been reduced.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program
The Pollution Control Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program provides private activity tax-exempt bond financing to California businesses for the acquisition, construction, or installation of qualified pollution control, waste disposal, and waste recovery facilities, and the acquisition and installation of new equipment.
Financing is performed in conjunction with allocation from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee. The allocation is required by federal tax law for private activity tax-exempt bonds to be issued.
Tax-exempt bond financing provides qualified borrowers with lower-interest costs than are available through conventional financing mechanisms.
Tools to Measure and Communicate Project Impact to Investors
Named after philanthropist Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock’s nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR) is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity and its quest to innovate. Winrock believes that climate change will have a profound impact on the poorest populations and the most fragile ecosystems around the world and that markets are the most effective path to mobilize actions to reduce emissions.
The Green Finance Impact Program offers bond issuers a simple and standardized way to quantify the environmental benefits of the projects they finance and streamlines the process of communicating their impact to investors in the capital markets. This helps to assuage investor concerns of greenwashing and can help issuers get a broader audience and more buyers for their bonds.
ACR started with methods for the waste sector, specifically the diversion of organic material from landfills for anaerobic digestion and waste. While its program targets issuers of municipal bonds, ACR’s methods are equally applicable to private project developers making investments in this type of infrastructure.
For more information, visit ACR’s capital markets page.
California's Climate Fight
California is leading the charge to combat the climate crisis and fuel local, green growth through increased recycling and remanufacturing. We urge recycling manufacturers, local jurisdictions, and businesses to research any of these programs that might apply to their needs.
CalRecycle will continue to support and guide stakeholders as we take steps to build an economy that maximizes recycling and reuse of resources.