(The Center Square) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sending $4 million to Seattle to support the city’s development of a warehouse to process, store, organize and distribute salvaged wood.

The wood warehouse is intended to help Seattle Public Utilities achieve its goal of zero waste and aid in the city’s environmental initiatives.

According to a press release, nearly 17% of Seattle’s construction waste comes from home demolitions. When homes are demolished, wood from the homes are landfilled or burned for energy, releasing carbon into the environment.

The city’s Solid Waste Infrastructure Project intends to help salvage wood from deconstructed homes and use the wood for new uses. In turn, this reduces carbon emissions and the need for cutting down additional trees for new wood.

When the warehouse is operational, it’s expected to process 150 tons of salvaged wood on an annual basis, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Through these federal dollars, we are investing into our circular wood economy, creating new green jobs for our workforce, and advancing our climate goals,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement on Thursday.

The city’s 2023-2024 budget includes approximately $8.8 million for new facilities for Seattle Public Utilities. The money stems from the city’s Solid Waste Fund.

Seattle’s conservation efforts to reduce solid waste and increase recycling activity have the public utilities department turning its focus on opportunities for efficiencies in service delivery as it anticipates decreased demand for services.

The EPA’s Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program provides grants to projects that improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems.

Seattle is one of 25 communities in the U.S. to receive grants totaling more than $73 million under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling fund.