AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin was recently chosen, along with 24 other communities, to receive funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to support and improve recycling efforts.

Austin will use the $4 million grant to create a reuse warehouse. According to a release, the warehouse will accept drop-off furniture donations and redistribute them to regional nonprofit organizations with a focus on furnishing homes for those transitioning out of homelessness.

The city hopes to open the warehouse no later than 2026.

The release also said innovative programming could expand in future years to accept deconstructed building materials and offer workforce training and development opportunities. 

According to the release, furniture has emerged as a problematic material stream, and it often takes up more floor space at resale stores and often sells slowly. This means unwanted furniture that is still usable sometimes ends up in the landfill.

The goal of the warehouse is to provide Austin with more infrastructure to adequately process and rehome these materials. 

The reuse warehouse will also support the city’s goal to reach zero waste by 2040.

According to the city, the program “aligns with Austin’s Climate Equity Plan by limiting the need for new raw materials, promoting waste reduction and encouraging reuse.”

“We are excited that the EPA has selected our initiative for their grant program,” said Richard McHale, Director of Austin Resource Recovery. “The reuse warehouse will connect valuable items, like furniture, to Austinites who can use them. It will also keep these items out of the landfill as we continue to work toward zero waste.” 

The EPA will provide the grant money to the City of Austin after all requirements are complete, including approval from the Austin City Council.