Event Waste Reduction Grant


Franklin County is proud to be home to many public events. It won't be long before the 2018 event season is upon us! Many residents and businesses look forward to the public events and outdoor festivals that take place across Franklin County during the warmer months. As the County continues to grow in population and popularity, tens of thousands of people now attend these local events. 

The Event Waste Reduction (EWR) Grant (PDF) seeks to assist local event organizers with reducing event-generated waste and diverting as much as possible from the landfill. In addition, these grants also assist event organizers in building the infrastructure needed to sustain these diversion efforts in order to continue to contribute to a safe and healthy community for all Franklin County residents. 

Since 2016, EWR grant funding has assisted local events in diverting over 27 tons of event-generated waste from the landfill. 

​Grant Cycle 

The 2018 Event Waste Reduction Grant Application cycle is CLOSED.  Please check back October 2018 to learn about the 2019 Event Waste Reduction Grant cycle. 


The EWR Grant is a competitive program that provides reimbursement funding only for activities that increase reuse, recycling and composting, as well as diversion-related outreach and education activities at public events.  SWACO has $30,000 available for the 2018 grant cycle.  Grants will be awarded in February 2018 and will range from $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the size of the event.

October 6, 2017 - January 31, 2018 at 5 p.m. SWACO accepted applications for the 2018 Event Waste Reduction Grant Program.

SWACO hosted a webinar on November 9, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. to provide information on the application process and answer questions.  Please click here to watch the recorded webinar.


To be eligible for a grant award, events must:

  • Be within SWACO's jurisdiction of Franklin County (PDF)
  • Occur during the 2018 calendar year.
  • Be open to the public.
  • Have a projected attendance of 2,000 people or more.
  • Funding may be requested for activities specific to establishing or promoting new waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting programs. 
  • Consideration will also be given to the significant expansion and/or improvement of existing diversion and outreach activities.


Last year (2016-2017 grant cycle), SWACO awarded $25,000 in grants and supported six (6) events including the Dublin Irish Festival, the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, the Columbus Italian Festival, HighBall Halloween in the Short North, Old Hilliard’s Halloween Haunt and a study of the tailgate recycling at OSU football games.

Three grants were awarded for the 2018 grant cycle, including:

  • The Greater Columbus Convention Center for the Women's Final Four
  • Franklinton Farms for zero waste Community Events
  • CoffeeFest


Download SWACO's Event Waste Reduction Best Practices Guide (PDF) 
Download the City of Columbus Green Event Guide (PDF) 

Recycling Container Loan Program

SWACO also has recycling containers available for local event organizers to loan. Learn more about how our Recycling Container Loan Program can assist with your event.

Additional Information

If you are interested in learning more one of SWACO's Grants Programs please contact SWACO at 614-871-5100 or e-mail a Programs Administrator.