Event Waste Reduction Grant
Each year, with 2020 and 2021 being the exception, Franklin County is home to hundreds of events that draw thousands of visitors to our communities and neighborhoods, supporting our local businesses and economy. In 2020, nearly all scheduled events in central Ohio were canceled due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 continues to impact most aspects of our lives and Franklin County’s 2021 event season is no different. SWACO recognizes and supports state and local government orders, regulations, and advisories and encourages safe social distancing at all gatherings to reduce the spread of the virus.
We understand the uncertainty surrounding this upcoming event season and want to help our community reduce waste and improve recycling and composting at in-person public gatherings should it be determined safe to move ahead. Therefore, SWACO is offering a modified version of the Event Waste Reduction Grant (EWRG) program.
The modified grant application cycle allows for a flexible submission timeline and evaluation process for events that may occur this year. To be eligible, events must be in-person, open to the public, and occur in Franklin County during the calendar year 2021.
2021 Grant Cycle Open Now!
Please click here to download the 2021 EWRG Application Information document. This year, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with an extended submission deadline.
The deadline to apply is Friday, August 6, 2021, by 5:00 p.m. If awarded, funded projects must be completed by December 31, 2021.
Event organizers are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to contact Kristi Higginbotham, SWACO Programs Administrator at [email protected] before drafting an application to discuss the timeline and proposed activities.
To sign up to receive notifications regarding our 2021 application cycle and/or to share ideas, please click here.
The EWRG (PDF) program seeks to assist local event organizers with reducing event-generated waste and divert as much 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.
The EWRG program is a competitive grant program that provides 100% reimbursement funding for activities at events that increase waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting; as well as diversion-related outreach and education activities to increase the public awareness and participation in these activities at events.
- Event must occur within SWACO's jurisdiction of Franklin County (PDF)
- Event must take place during the grant cycle calendar year
- Event must be open to the public
- Event must have received a minimum of 2,000 attendees in prior years
- Applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the event date to allow for sufficient time for review; and should funding be awarded, execution of a grant agreement
- Funding requests must be for activities specific to establishing or promoting new waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting programs. Consideration will be given to the significant expansion and/or improvement of existing diversion and outreach activities
FundingIn the past, eligible funding amounts have corresponded with event attendance and are as follows:
- Historically, events ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 attendees or greater are eligible to apply for up to $6,000
- Historically, events ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 attendees are eligible to apply for up to $4,000
- Historically, events ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 attendees are eligible to apply for up to $2,000
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 webpage to learn more today!
Additional Waste Reduction Resources for Events
Download the City of Columbus
Download the OEPA's Zero Waste Special Event Planning Guide
Past Award Recipients
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!