Waste reduction and recycling grants available in Ogle County

Staff Report

OREGON, Ill. — The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department (OCSWMD) is announcing limited funds are 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 non-profit organizations wishing to establish or improve on waste reduction and recycling programs and services. Applicants must provide a 20 percent match of the total project cost.

Since total grant funds available are limited to $8,000 this fiscal year (beginning Dec. 1, 2013), grants will be awarded on a competitive basis in amounts from $100 to $2,000, in four rounds, until funds are depleted. The deadline for the first round of grants is Friday, Feb. 7.

In 2012, Ogle County residents, businesses and other entities recycled approximately 40 percent of the municipal waste generated in the county. This is based on the results from the 2012 Recycling Survey that was sent to local businesses and other establishments in Ogle 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 residents should be pleased with that percentage, the OCSWMD urges Ogle County residents and businesses to strive to find new ways to increase what gets recycled and reduce the amount of waste going to local landfills.

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

The application for the grants is simple and flexible. 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.

Schools may seek funds 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 so disposable plastic ware and Styrofoam trays can be replaced with reusable silverware, plates and trays.

Municipalities seeking to improve curbside or multifamily recycling 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 Jan. 1, 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 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 Feb. 7, April 4, July 4 and Oct. 3, as long as grant funds are available. 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 (815) 732-4020, or visit www.oglecounty.org.

Posted Jan. 29, 2014

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