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Litter Prevention and Recycling Grant Programs

Annual Local Government Competitive Grants Program

For the GY 2021 grant cycle, DEQ has developed an online application so that localities can submit all applications and reports electronically. The Litter Grant online application is now open for submission. Please use this link to access the portal:

Starting GY 2018, DEQ has implemented a competitive grant component to the Litter Control and Recycling Grants Program for localities. The amount of funds available for this grant program is approximately 5% of the net resources allocated for the Litter Control and Recycling Fund. All localities currently receiving the DEQ litter prevention and recycling non-competitive grant are eligible to apply for the competitive grant. The competitive grant funds can be used for implementing statewide and regional litter prevention and recycling educational programs and pilot projects.

For GY 2020, $84,477 was disbursed among 14 localities that were awarded competitive litter grants. All recipients of GY 2020 competitive grant are required to submit a Performance Report and Accounting Report for Competitive Grants Program to DEQ by August 1, 2020.

The GY 2021 competitive grant application is due on July 15 each year. The GY 2021 online grant application form is available here.

Annual Local Government Non-Competitive Grants Program

DEQ provides funds for litter prevention and recycling grants to localities under a non-competitive grant program based on population and road miles. These grants have been awarded annually, since 1980, to localities for local litter prevention and recycling program implementation, continuation, and/or expansion. For FY 2020, $1,523,060 was disbursed among 190 applicants (representing 311 local government programs). Since 1981, Virginia businesses, who pay into a trust fund, have contributed over $65M to the fund to support local government litter control and recycling programs.

To be eligible to receive this annual non-competitive grant funding, potential recipients must submit the following:

  1. Grant Application Form: The submission deadline is June 30 each year - The GY 2021 grant application form is available here.
  2. Accounting Report: The submission deadline is August 1 each year. The GY 2020 accounting report form is available here.
  3. Performance Report: The submission deadline is August 1 each year. The GY 2020 performance report form is available here. 

DEQ encourages all localities to submit their non-competitive and competitive litter grant applications and accounting and performance reports using the online Litter Grant Application.

The DEQ Guidelines for Litter Prevention and Recycling Grants (DEQ-LPR-2) explain the eligibility requirements, funding process and deadlines that must be met in order to receive both non-competitive and competitive grants.


The Code of Virginia provides for the following annual litter taxes to be collected and deposited in an interest earning account: the Litter Control and Recycling Trust Fund (Fund):

  • Litter Control and Recycling Fund - Section 10.1-1422.01 - Provides formula for allocation of funds, amended by legislation in 2008 and effective July 1, 2009.
  • Litter Tax -- Section 58.1-1707 $20.00 per year for each location of manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors or retailers of consumer products and an additional $30.00 per year per location where groceries, soft drinks and beer are sold.
  • Excise Tax on Soft Drinks -- Section 58.1-1702 A gross receipts tax on wholesalers.
  • Excise Tax on Beer and Wine Coolers -- Section 4.1-235 & 4.1-236 2% of the taxes collected go to the Fund.

Specific information on the payment of Virginia's Litter Taxes can be obtained by contacting the Customer Service for Businesses Section of the Virginia Department of Taxation at 804.367.8037 or at

In Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019), the litter taxes generated $1,700,611. The FY2019 Fund included the following revenues:

Litter Tax: $664,102
Beer Tax: $829,889
Soft Drink Tax: $174,807

Grant Program Reporting

At the conclusion of each grant year, the non-competitive grant recipients must submit Performance and Accounting Reports on the activities and expenses for which the grant funds were used. DEQ compiles the information that is submitted by the grant recipients and certified by one of their authorized agents and submits it to the Board for their review and consideration. The current Performance and Accounting Report Summary can be accessed through the following link:

Litter and Recycling Grant Program Annual Performance and Accounting Summary Report - 2019

The Litter Control and Fund Advisory Board

The Fund Board is appointed by the Governor and consists of five members as follows: one representative for each of the three types of entities required to pay the litter taxes, one local litter or recycling coordinator, and one member from the general public. The fund board meets each year as necessary to track the status of the Fund and the progress of the annual grant programs.

For any questions about this program, please contact

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Litter Grant Online Application:

For the GY 2021 grant cycle, DEQ has developed an online application so that localities can submit non-competitive and competitive grant applications, accounting reports, and performance reports electronically. The Litter Grant online application is now open for submission.

Click here to access the DEQ Portal.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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