Small Business Advisor - June 2020

Small Biz News

Small Business Advisor - June 2020

EPA Stresses the Importance of Recycling and Proper Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to recycle materials from their households and properly dispose of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially during the Coronavirus public health emergency. Recycling isn’t just good for the planet by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and saving energy, it also supports American manufacturing.

Recycled materials are used to make new products as well as the boxes that these and other essential supplies are shipped in for the everyday needs of hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and American homes. Currently, businesses that normally recycle large amounts of paper and cardboard are not able to do that due to the impacts from the current public health emergency. Because of this, household recycling is more essential than ever.

Americans all over the country are staying home, getting more deliveries in cardboard boxes, eating at home, and generating more material than normal, much of which can be recycled.

EPA encourages households to do their part – recycle more and recycle correctly so the right materials are available for U.S. manufacturers. To do so:

  • Check with your local recycling hauler to see what materials they accept right now and recycle what you can from your home.
  • Break down shipping and food boxes, rinse out containers and cans, keep them dry and clean, and put them in your curbside bin to be recycled.
  • Keep disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, other PPE and medical waste out of recycling bins.

When taking trips to essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies, please do not litter disinfectant wipes, masks, gloves or other PPE, instead put them securely in a trash can and follow local trash and Center for Disease Control guidelines.

Learn more:

Re-Opening Buildings and Businesses with Potentially Stagnant Water

When buildings and business are closed for weeks or months, this may result in reduced water usage and potentially stagnant water in building plumbing. This stagnant water can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for domestic or commercial purposes.

WI DNR recommends that building owners and managers take proactive steps to protect public health by minimizing water stagnation during closures and taking action to address building water quality prior to reopening. In an effort to aid businesses and municipalities protect drinking water quality as buildings start to re-open following COVID-19 related shutdowns the DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater program has added links and various guidance to its COVID-19 Response Webpage under the tab “Re-Opening/Flushing”.

EPA’s 2020-2021 SBIR Phase I Solicitation Anticipated to Open in Late June 2020

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitation purpose is to support eligible small businesses in the development and commercialization of innovative environmental technologies. US EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program as a result of the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. EPA is calling for small businesses to apply for Phase I awards for up to $100,000 to demonstrate proof of concept in one of the SBIR solicitation topic areas. Successful Phase I awardees are eligible to receive Phase II funding, up to $400,000 for two years, through an additional application process.

Novel technologies are wanted in the following topic areas: 

Clean and Safe Water

  • Monitoring technologies for water reuse
  • Treatment technologies for water reuse

Air Quality

  • Air monitoring technology for ethylene oxide
  • Air quality sensors for volatile organic compounds and odors 
  • Innovative technologies for radon mitigation in buildings

Land Revitalization

  • Innovative technologies that destroy PFAS in soil, sediment, water and groundwater

Homeland Security

  • Long-term disinfectant coatings

Sustainable Materials Management

  • Preventing food waste
  • Technologies that will improve the US recycling system
  • New applications for industrial non-hazardous secondary materials and food processing byproducts
  • Safe building deconstruction tools or safety equipment 
  • Building materials that improve energy efficiency and have reduced embodied impacts

Safer Chemicals

  • New Approach Methodologies to reduce, refine or replace animal testing
  • Cleaner manufacturing of coloration techniques 

For more information on EPA’s SBIR program and funding opportunities:  Learn more about the SBIR program: