News Flash


Posted on: January 26, 2018

2018 Community Grant Recipients Announced

In keeping with SWACO’s mission to improve the solid waste stream through effective reduction, recycling and safe disposal, SWACO has awarded $133,588.70 in competitive grant funding to eleven community projects. The 2018 Community Waste Reduction Grant program represents an increase of an additional five grant recipients and totals more than $44,000 in additional funding over last year’s program award.

The Community Waste Reduction Grant program supports unique and innovative projects throughout Franklin County. Funding for 2018 has been awarded to projects that support food waste composting in area schools and at a local urban farm, reduce disposable plastic water bottles through the installation of permanent water bottle filling stations on a local University campus, enhance recycling in public facilities and reduce food waste through the preservation and distribution of fresh foods to neighbors in need.

“SWACO is committed to advancing the sustainability efforts of our valued community partners,” said Ty Marsh, SWACO’s Executive Director. “Together we can make a positive and lasting impact in our neighborhoods and on the environment.”

The following is a list of 2018 Community Waste Reduction Grant recipients:

Waste Reduction and Reuse Projects 

  • Otterbein University received $27,810.00 to purchase 17 water bottle filling stations and reusable bottles to reduce the 17,200 single-use plastic bottles sold on campus each year. The University estimates a 30-percent reduction in the number of bottles purchased on campus each year as a result.

  • Franklinton Cycle Works received $6,260.55 to launch the “Second Life Cycle” program which will create a sustainable volunteer run recycling program to transport – by bike – unusable aluminum, steel and rubber (from donated bikes) for recycling further reducing waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. In addition, Franklinton Cycle Works will produce a documentary film about the stores impact on the growing Franklinton community that will serve to highlight the benefits of repurposing materials.

Recycling Projects 

  • COSI received $19,912.60 to design, fabricate and install 40 new recycling containers to increase the number of locations throughout the venue where recycling takes place to increase the amount of materials being recycled by the more than 650,000 visitors each year.

  • The Arts College and Preparatory Academy (ACPA) received $5,072.75 to purchase new recycling bins to serve the diversion needs of 400 students in grades 9 through 12. In addition, SWACO will support the development of outreach and educational materials to help promote proper recycling and the benefits of recycling right.

  • The City of Hilliard’s Department of Parks and Recreation received $3,000.00 to purchase new recycling containers for the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center which served an approximate 73,000 visitors between May and September 2017.

  • Summer Jam West, which takes place in Columbus’ Westgate neighborhood received $1,500.00 to partner with Clean Turn Demolition, an interior demolition and trash removal services company that employees formerly incarcerated men and women, for the set-up, distribution, maintenance, removal and clean-up recyclable and trash generated by the estimated 8,000 festival attendees.  

Food Waste Reduction and Composting Projects 

  • Hilliard City Schools received $24,730.80 to implement a cafeteria composting program that will replace the 3,000 non-recyclable polystyrene lunch trays used every day with compostable ones. The District will purchase reusable totes for collecting cafeteria food scraps beginning with three elementary schools to be transported for off-site composting. This is the first district-wide cafeteria food waste, composting and education program in a Franklin County school district.  

  • Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Grove City, Ohio received $22,500.00 to purchase a refrigerated semi-trailer to prolong the life of donated perishable foods in transit from retailers to agency partners to reduce potential food waste and distribute even more healthy, fresh produce to neighbors in need. An estimated 1.58 million pounds of food will be rescued as a result of SWACO’s grant funding.

  • Franklinton Gardens received $18,000.00 in order to purchase a skid steer to expand an existing yard waste and food waste composting program at 12 community gardens on Columbus’ Westside. The equipment purchase will allow for an increase in the amount of material being composted and will make it possible for Franklinton Gardens to work with local businesses to collect even more food waste for composting at these sites. 

  • New Albany High School received $2,552.00 to implement a food waste diversion program in the cafeteria. Students of the school’s Environmental Science program will educate their peers about the types of waste that can be added to the bins. In addition, the schools environmental club will construct and install three composting bins and move the collected food scraps from the indoor containers to outdoor composting piles, ensuring they are turned and composted before being added to an on-site garden.

  • Franklin County Public Health received $2,250.00 to support the cost of a residential food waste collection program in which employees of FCPH will receive reusable compost buckets to be used at home to collect their individual food scraps. Each week, employees will return the compost bucket to the office where it will be picked up and transported for off-site composting.

    Grant funding is required to be expended before December 31, 2018.

    Schools, non-profits and community and governmental partners interested in applying for a 2019 Community Waste Reduction Grant are invited to apply in June 2018. For more information, click here.

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