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Waste reduction grants avaiable

Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

OREGON – The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department has limited funds available for waste reduction, recycling grants for the 2014 fiscal year. The grants of up to $2,000 are available to Ogle County businesses, schools, churches and nonprofit organizations to establish or improve on waste reduction and recycling programs and services. Applicants must provide a 20 percent match of the total project cost.

Total grant funds available are limited to $8,000 this fiscal year (beginning Dec. 1, 2013, and will be awarded on a competitive basis in amounts from $100 to $2,000, in three addition rounds, April 4, July 4, and Oct. 3 until funds are depleted. The deadline for the first round of grants is Feb. 7.

Since the beginning of this grant program in 2000, the OCSWMD has provided grants totaling over $96,300 toward equipment, educational materials, and other items that have helped businesses and nonprofits save money and reduce waste. During that same period, the county recycling rate increased from 21 to 40 percent.

The application for the grants is simple and flexible. Businesses ideas for grants include money to help purchase waste reduction and recycling materials and equipment such as collection bins, carts, balers and storage containers. Equipment needed to switch from disposable packaging to reusable packaging for products and supplies also could be considered.

Schools may use grant money for special projects that will further a student’s understanding of how to reduce the amount of trash sent to the landfill. The requests may be for materials and equipment, such as recycling bins, carts, videos, books, worm bins, composters or a dishwasher to replace disposable plastic ware and Styrofoam trays with reusable silverware, plates and trays.

Municipalities seeking to improve curbside or multifamily recycling also are encouraged to apply. Grant applications for equipment and materials needed to improve electronics recycling options in Ogle County are also encouraged since most electronics have been banned from landfills as of 2012.

These examples are not all inclusive and applicants are encouraged to find innovative ways to reduce the amount of waste that is generated and increase what is recycled. The grants may not be used to pay for ongoing expenses such as staffing, collection and hauling costs. Priority will be given to new applicants.

All applications will be reviewed by the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department and the Ogle County Board Solid Waste Committee. Grants will be evaluated based on management ability, project quality, project impact, realistic goals and expectations, accuracy of application, education potential, use of recycled content products when available, potential for waste stream diversion, and future continuity of project.

Each batch of applicants will be reviewed, scored and acted on by the Solid Waste Committee later that month.

For more information or to request an application, contact the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department at visit www.oglecounty.org or 815-732-4020.

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