Event Waste Reduction Grant

Central Ohio is proud to be home to many public events.  Many residents and businesses look forward to annual events and outdoor festivals that take place 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 Grant (EWRG) program is a competitive grant program that provides reimbursement funding for activities at these events that increase waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting; as well as diversion-related outreach and education activities to increase the public awareness of the importance of these activities.  Grant dollar amounts are awarded based on event attendance and eligibility criteria.

2022 Grant Cycle 

The 2023 Application cycle has closed.  The deadline to apply was August 5, 2022.  Please check back in January 2023 to learn more about our 2023 application cycle!

We strongly encourage interested applicants to contact 614-871-5100 or email [email protected] to share ideas in advance of submitting an application.

To sign up to receive notifications and/or to share ideas, please click here.



The Event Waste Reduction Grant (PDF) program seeks to assist local event organizers with reducing event-generated waste and divert as much material as possible from the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill. Event waste reduction grants can also aid in helping event organizers with building needed and necessary infrastructure to sustain diversion efforts beyond the grant funding year in order to continue to contribute to a safe and healthy community for all Franklin County residents. 


To be eligible for a grant award, events:

  • Must occur within SWACO's jurisdiction (PDF) of Franklin County, Ohio.
  • Must take place during the grant cycle calendar year.
  • Must be open to the public.
  • Must have a projected attendance of 2,000 people or more.
  • May request funding 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.

EWRG Webinars

Please be sure to check out our Webinars focused on best managment practices for waste reduction, sustainability, grant eligibility, and SWACO's application process.

Did you know?  SWACO offers an Event Container Loan Program designed to help events within our jurisdiction effectively recycle and compost materials.  Please visit the Event Container Loan Program web page to learn more today!

Additional Waste Reduction Resources for Events

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

Past Award Recipients

Three grants were awarded in 2021 to What? Music and Arts Fest, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Summer Festival in Grove City, and Final Third Foundation.

Five grants totaling $12,805 in reimbursed funding were awarded for the 2019 grant cycle
.  Grant recipients included: Columbus Coffee Festival, ComFest, Dublin Irish Festival, Festival for Good and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Summer Festival in Grove City.  Combined, these events diverted approximately 37,000 pounds of material!

Three grants totaling $8,000 in reimbursed funding were awarded for the 2018 grant cycle.  Grant recipients included: Greater Columbus Convention Center Women's Final Four event, Franklinton Farms, and CoffeeFest.  Combined, these events diverted approximately 22,000 pounds of material! 

Six grants totaling $24,000 in reimbursed funding were awarded for the 2017 grant cycle.  Grant recipients included: Dublin Irish Festival, the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, the Columbus Italian Festival, HighBall Halloween, Old Hilliard’s Halloween Haunt, and The Ohio State University to conduct a study of tailgate recycling at home football games.  Combined, these events diverted approximately 25,000 pounds of material from the landfill!

Six grants totaling almost $19,000 in reimbursed funding were awarded for the 2016 grant cycle.  Grant recipients included:
Green Columbus Earth Day event, Columbus CREW Rock on the Range event, Greater Columbus Arts Council Columbus Arts Festival, Dublin Irish Festival, Columbus Food Truck Festival, and Dublin Arts Council BREAD Festival.  Combined, these events diverted approximately 53,200 pounds of material!
  • Grant applications for the 2019 CWRG were accepted Monday, July 2, 2018 - Friday, September 21, 2018.  
  • Award recipients will be notified of their funding status in November 2018.  
  • Awarded projects will begin in January 2019. 
  • Please contact SWACO at 614-871-5100 or [email protected] with questions.