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SWACO has awarded more than $224,000 in grant funding to 15 local organizations, schools and non-profits in Central Ohio, the most grant funding awarded as part of the Community Waste Reduction Grant program in recent history.
The increase is an acknowledgment that as residents and families continue to remain mostly at home during the pandemic, more residential waste material is being created, yet 60% of household recyclables aren’t being captured. Furthermore, the majority of Franklin County’s landfill material (76%), which comes from both the residential and commercial sectors, still has the potential to be reused, recycled or composted.
“SWACO wants to change the way our community views the waste we each create,” said Ty Marsh, SWACO’s Executive Director. “When recoverable materials, like food, plastics and cardboard, are thrown away instead of reused or recycled, we toss out the opportunity to support local businesses and jobs and we waste precious natural resources. We’re counting on these grant funded projects to help even more central Ohioans reduce their reliance on the landfill and help to protect our economy and environment.”
SWACO’s Community Waste Reduction Grant program is part of a broader strategy to increase Franklin County’s rate of recycling by an additional 25% by 2032.
The projects selected for 2021 grant funding focus on diverting difficult materials such as Styrofoam and plastics as well as more recyclables, including more cardboard from the landfill. SWACO will also fund a number of new community food waste drop-off programs in several Central Ohio communities as well as a pilot recycling program to provide more convenient access at apartment complexes.
The following is a list of the 2021 Community Waste Reduction Grant recipients:
The 2021 grant program leverages an additional $138,323.46 in matching funds from grantees for a total investment of more than $367,705.89 towards reducing waste in our community.
Last year, SWACO awarded 14 grants totaling $192,573.31. Many of the 2020 projects were delayed as a result of the pandemic and will continue to be implemented throughout 2021. However, to date, those partner projects have composted more than 203,700 pounds of food waste through community food waste drop-of sites, recycled more than 1,400 pounds of material, and have donated approximately 9,374,000 pounds of small household items, appliances, and furniture pieces for reuse.
SWACO will begin accepting applications for 2022 projects this summer. Information will be available on swaco.org/grants.