Announcement of Residential Sharps Collection Program Funding Opportunity: SECOND ROUND
Round 1: Illinois EPA approved 20 grantees for the first round of funding from the Residential Sharps Collection Program, with awards totaling $394,133.92 from the $750,000 allotted to the program for Fiscal Year 2024. The remaining funds for the second NOFO are $355,866.08.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announces the availability of funds from the Illinois Solid Waste Management Fund (SWMF), administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA or Agency) Materials Management and Compliance Section (MMCS). The SWMF provides funding for conducting household waste collection and disposal programs. See 415 ILCS 5/22.15(i). Sharps collected from private citizens are a household waste. Illinois EPA MMCS intends to reimburse units of local government that operate a sharps collection station, as defined in Section 3.458 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, for expenses incurred in collection, storing, and disposing of used sharps. Eligible expenses include costs to obtain collection containers for use by individual residents (if not otherwise available from the Agency), collection receptacles to store sharps at the sharps collection station, mobilization fees assessed by an appropriately permitted potentially infectious medical waste (PIMW) transporter to pick up collected sharps, and disposal fees for the collected sharps. Each unit of local government is eligible for the actual costs of sharps collection and disposal, up to $35,000.00. Eligibility criteria and more information can be found at the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Applications are due by 5:00 pm ct on December 9, 2023.
Illinois EPA will provide a Technical Assistance Availability Session via WebEx on November 7th from 10:00am-11:00am CT Questions resulting from the previous session and First Round applications are listed below. Second round questions are also included.
Question and Answer Assistance:
Specific to Second Round of Funding (NOFO 532-30-3162-02):
1. When can I begin incurring costs?
The number of awards will depend on the number of applications received. Pre-award costs beginning January 8, 2024 may be allowed if the costs are directly in anticipation of receiving an award, where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the project. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they are eligible costs and would have been allowable if incurred after the date of an award. Reimbursement of pre-award costs may only occur post-award and post execution of a grant agreement between the Illinois EPA and the applicant. Grantees will be reimbursed for actual expense. Grantees must demonstrate to the Agency the use of grant funds for qualifying costs incurred at the pre-award date of January 8, 2024 through June 30, 2024.
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3. Section A states “Eligible costs include: costs to obtain collection containers for use by individual residents if not otherwise available from the Agency…” (emphasis added). Will the Agency reimburse costs of collection containers procured for our program only if containers are not available from IEPA, or will you reimburse container costs regardless of IEPA availability?
The language in the application was intended to allow flexibility for the sites to either pull from any remaining the Agency may have in stock or procure their own supply, depending on the unique needs of their individual collection options. For simplicity, the sites can purchase their own and include those costs in the budget. Once the Agency supply of containers is depleted, it is not likely that we will accumulate any additional inventory.
Another question was asked about size of containers that the Agency has available: quart-size, autoclavable containers, we have a little less than 1000 as of October 2023.
4. Please clarify whether the criteria listed in Section E.1 on page 4 of 9 of the NOFO are the correct criteria that applications will be reviewed against? Also, does the applicant check these?
These questions and the need, capacity, and quality questions necessary in the narrative are the criteria applicants will be evaluated on. A contingency for approval is meeting all criteria and the applicant should check these items and include them in their application.
5. This is the second NOFO for the Sharps Grant. Does the Illinois EPA plan for this program to be an annual occurrence, with this same process EVERY year, or multiple years?
The Illinois EPA has published a second NOFO for the Sharps Grant due to interest from applicants who missed the first deadline and remaining funds in the SWMF. Illinois EPA hopes that this will become a permanent program and the details of the grant application will need to be sorted out after this first year. Additional years, as well as additional funding, may be administered via an amendment to the original executed grant agreement or available to new applicants that send complete applications. Illinois EPA will work closely with grantees through the process. Please note: all grant funding is subject to appropriation.
6. Does Illinois EPA need to see the contract that is procured with a vendor with the application, or just the information within the application?
Only the information in the application is needed. As part of the grant reporting process, the contract information should be provided.
7. For a facility, such as a Health Department, that generates their own sharps with a vendor already AND holds collections for citizens, is it necessary to have separate vendor contracts to document what is separate, or can we “estimate” based upon past collections what is department-generated and then what is citizen-related and eligible for the grant?
For grant reimbursement purposes, an estimation would not be acceptable, the contractor should be able to apportion this for you with separate invoices.
8. Do all disposal facilities, in and out of state, need an IEPA facility ID Number?
Yes. The application can be found here:
9. Are “indirect costs” reimbursable?
10. Are the Anticipated Dates on page 5 drop-dead dates?
With the exceptions of December 9, 2023, application deadline date, and June 30, 2024, final eligible collection date, Illinois EPA will work with applicants/grantees as needed. Costs expected to be reimbursed in accordance with this grant can be incurred starting January 8, 2024.
11. Are kiosks purchased from vendors reimbursable?
12. Will Illinois EPA provide reporting forms for the end of grant period final report?
A Quarterly Report will be due within 30 days of March 31, 2024. A final Periodic Performance Report and Periodic Financial Report will be due within 60 days of the end of the agreement period and will be specified in the grant agreement. These are the same reporting forms to use for the quarterly reports, just marked as “ final”. The Final Report should be a basic and clear accounting and documentation of the grant funds expenditures. These forms are posted at the top of the page under FORMS.
13. If I was rejected for the first round of funding, can I re-apply?
If you have additional questions, please send them to Epa.WasteReporting@Illinois.Gov with subject line “Sharps NOFO”.
Safe Options for Home Needle Disposal
Every year millions of people throughout the country use billions of needles, syringes, and lancets – also called sharps – to manage medical conditions at home. Finding ways to safely dispose of used medical sharps is an important public health priority. Those who use sharps must be aware of proper disposal methods to avoid haphazard disposal habits and accidental exposure to used sharps. Although needle-stick injuries are occupational hazards for sanitation, house- keeping, and janitorial workers, children and pets are also at risk for being stuck by improperly discarded used sharps. Needle-stick injuries are a preventable health risk and specific actions can be taken to protect yourself and others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has identified several types of safe and convenient disposal methods for people who give themselves medical injections. When possible, the following sharps disposal methods are preferred over placing the sharps in the solid waste receptacle:
- Drop Off Collection Sites: Check with approproate collection sites such as local doctors' offices, hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, health departments, community organizations, plice and fire stations, and medical waste facilities.
- Mail Back Programs: Mail-back programs may be available for individual use by sharps users, and can also serve as a disposal method for community collection sites. Used sharps are placed in special containers and are mailed in accordance with U.S. Postal Service requirements. These programs work especially well for rural communities, facilities that don’t already have a medical waste pick-up service and individuals who wish to protect their privacy. These programs can reduce or eliminate the danger of sharps by entering into the waste stream. Please be aware that this service usually involves a fee.
PLEASE NOTE: Sharps are not accepted at Illinois Household Hazardous Collection sites and events.
Home sharp users should practice the following guidelines if the previously mentioned options are not available:
- Medical sharps may be placed in either a medical sharps container purchased from a pharmacy or health care provider, or in a heavy‐plastic or metal container.
- Household containers, such as plastic detergent bottles, can be used if heavy duty tape is used to secure the lid to the container and the words “Do Not Recycle” are written on the container with a permanent marker.
- Never place the container in the recycle bin.
- The container should also be puncture‐proof with a tight‐fitting lid.
- Please refrain from using a clear or glass container.
- Please do not overfill the containers.
- Please keep the containers out of reach from children and pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does “Medical Sharps” mean?
Medical Sharps (syringes, hypodermic needles, needles attached to tubing, lancets, etc.) are considered biohazardous medical waste. Since ‘sharps’ potentially have disease-carrying blood or other bodily fluids on them, which can live on these objects for over a week, they are capable of ‘injecting’ that contaminated blood or fluid into anyone who comes in contact with them.
What are sharps used for?
People use sharps to treat various kinds of medical conditions in the home, and the number of conditions treated at home with injectable medicines continues to rise.
If someone uses sharps for medical conditions that are not contagious (like diabetes or allergies), why is it important to dispose of the syringes, needles and lancets properly?
For those community workers and the general public who may come into contact with contaminated needles, the risk factor appears the same because it is impossible to know whether needles have been used on a diabetic cat or on a person with HIV. There are millions of people in the U.S. infected with hepatitis B and C, HIV, syphilis, or other contagious diseases which can be contracted from a stick with a used hypodermic needle.
Why can’t needles/syringes be thrown in the trash?
Some sharps users throw their used needles in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Used sharps left loose among other waste can hurt sanitation workers during collections, at sorting and recycling facilities, and at landfills, or become lodged in equipment, forcing workers to remove them by hand. Children, adults, and even pets are at risk for needlestick injuries when sharps are disposed of improperly at home or in public settings like parks.
For More Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Provides links to state websites to learn more about public health laws and regulations affecting community syringe disposal options https://cdc.gov/sharpssafety
SafeNeedleDisposal.org: Information related to community needle disposal programs and needle mail-back programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. http://www.safeneedledisposal.org/
Earth 911 / Household Hazardous Waste Section: Users can enter their zip code and view a list of sharps disposal programs available in their area http://www.earth911.com/
United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA): Learn more about safe community and home needle disposal https://www.epa.gov/rcra/community-options-safe-needledisposal; https://www.epa.gov/rcra/protect-yourself-protectothers-safe-options-home-needle-disposal
Illinois EPA: Epa.Recycling@Illinois.gov or 217-524-3300