Event Waste Reduction Grant

Franklin County is proud to be home to many public events.  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 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. 

APPLY NOW for the 2020 Grant Cycle! 

The 2020 Event Waste Reduction Grant (EWRG) application period is Friday, December 20, 2019 - March 13, 2020 by 5 p.m. 

We strongly encourage interested applicants to contact 614-871-5100 or email grants@swaco.org to share ideas in advance of submitting an application.  

Please download the 2020 EWRG Application Information Document to learn more and apply! 


EWRG Webinars

Please be sure to check out our Pre-recorded Webinars focused on event best managment practices for waste reduction, sustainability, grant eligibility, and SWACO's application process for the EWRG program!

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


The purpose of the EWRG program is to assist event organizers in establishing sustainable waste reduction and diversion activities.  By implementing sustainable, environmentally conscious methods of waste reduction and diversion, central Ohio's events can successfully reduce the amount of solid waste materials generated and divert recyclable and compostable materials from the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

The EWRG program is a competitive grant that provides reimbursement funding for activities that increase reuse, recycling and composting, as well as diversion-related outreach and education activities at public events.  Grant dollar amounts are awarded based on event attendance and eligibility criteria found in the Application Information Document. 


To be eligible for a grant award, events:

  • Must occur within SWACO's jurisdiction of Franklin County (PDF)
  • 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.

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! 


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

  • 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 grants@swaco.org with questions.