Waste reduction and recycling grants available

In 2004, Ogle County residents, businesses and other entities recycled 32 percent of the municipal waste generated in the County. This admirable number is a result of the efforts of many individuals doing their part to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible at home, work and school. Although pleased with that percentage, Ogle County strives to find new ways to reduce the amount of waste going to local landfills, and increase what gets recycled.

To help in this effort, the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department has grant money available to Ogle County businesses, schools, school districts, libraries and non-profit organizations wishing to address the issue of waste reduction and recycling. This may include implementation of waste reduction activities, the purchase of recycling equipment or collection containers and/or promotion of waste reduction and recycling educational efforts.

Schools may seek funds for special projects that will further student’s understanding of how to reduce the amount of trash sent to the landfill. The requests can be for such things as assemblies or teacher training, or for materials and equipment, such as recycling bins/carts, videos, books, worm bins or a dishwasher so disposable plastic ware and Styrofoam trays can be replaced with reusable silverware and plastic trays.

Businesses could use grant funds 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 could also be considered.

If the purchase of equipment or materials is being requested, an effort must be made to purchase items made with recycled materials. The grant may not be used to pay for ongoing expenses such as staffing, collection and hauling costs. Priority will be given to new applicants.

Since total grant funds available are limited to $10,000 for this fiscal year, grants will be awarded on a competitive basis in amounts from $100-$2,000, until funds are depleted. Applicants must provide a 20 percent match of the total project cost.

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 the following criteria: 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.

Applications may be submitted by the first day of each month as long as grant funds are available. They will be reviewed, scored and acted on by the Solid Waste Committee later that month. Ninety percent of an approved grant will be awarded the following month. The 10 percent balance of the grant will be paid shortly after receipts and a grant evaluation/expenditure report is received by the County.

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

From the Dec. 21-27, 2005, issue

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