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:
- City of Hilliard ($30,000.00) to purchase a foam densifier in order to increase the amount of clean Expanded Polystyrene (EPS or commonly referred to as ‘Styrofoam’) material accepted at mobile collection and recycling events. These materials will be remade into new products.
- Form5 Prosthetics ($9,000.00) to assist with the development of “eco-friendly” 3D printing filament to be used in Form5’s production of prosthetics enabling Form5 to expand their business operations by establishing industry partnerships for the collection and recycling of plastics and reinvest the generated revenues into research and development activities to support future success.
- City of Columbus ($35,000.00) to assist with piloting a multi-family recycling program for apartment buildings for co-mingled recycling. The pilot will take place with select apartment buildings within the city and in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership.
- City of Dublin ($10,864.50) to assist with the purchase of recycling containers to be placed outside at Dublin’s new Bridge Park development as part of the Bridge Park Recycling and Awareness Initiative.
- City of Grandview ($19,982.25) to expand existing residential curbside recycling and residential food waste drop-off services including new, larger recycling carts and additional food waste drop off locations.
- City of Grove City ($9,227.00) for a new residential food waste drop-off location.
- City of Westerville ($30,000.00) to assist with the cost of consulting services for the development of a Zero Waste Plan for residential and business sector waste.
- Columbus City Schools ($6,314.45) to help expand existing recycling and food waste programs to 5 new schools and create a new partnership with St. Stephen’s Community House in order to provide an opportunity for students to participate in hands-on composting activities in their community garden.
- Community Development for All People ($7,202.00) to purchase and install 5 water bottle refilling stations, an outdoor compost bin for use in their community garden and an additional bin in which to accept more donations.
- COSI ($10,875.00) to provide recycling education materials on the COSI Connects free, digital STEM learning platform and through educational hand-outs included in the in COSI Learning Lunchboxes distributed to underserved families in Franklin County.
- Franklinton Farms ($2,664.00) to assist with infrastructure improvements for composting systems and educational signage at the Patrick Kaufman Learning Garden.
- Habitat for Humanity ($14,000.00) to assist with the purchase of a cardboard baler.
- Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation & Correction - Franklin Medical Center ($5,688.03) to assist with the purchase of equipment to increase the diversion of recyclables and a composting and education pilot program for food and garden waste.
- Ohio Health ($28,789.20) to assist with the purchase of recycling stations, equipment, and signage to collect and divert recyclables from public-facing, non-clinical areas at Grant Medical Center, Dublin Methodist Hospital, and Doctors Hospital resulting in increased recycling of paper, plastic bottles, metal cans, and glass containers from the facilities.
- Ohio Wildlife Center ($4,776) to assist with the purchase of recycling and composting collection containers and signage in addition to funding composting removal services.
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.