SWACO Announces Community Waste Reduction Grant Recipient

Funded projects underscore community’s growing commitment to reducing food waste

March 29, 2022

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COLUMBUS, OH  – Today, SWACO announced it will be awarding more than $94,289.85 in grant funding to nine local organizations, city governments, schools and non-profits in Central Ohio as part of its annual Community Waste Reduction Grant program. These grants will help local organizations support SWACO’s broader strategy to increase waste diversion from the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill to 75% by 2032. Since the grants program was reimagined in 2016, SWACO has awarded $770,000.00 in grant funding to support local waste diversion initiatives across the region. During that same period of time, Franklin County’s diversion rate has grown from 45% to today’s record high rate of 51%.

This year’s projects include everything from the installation of refillable water bottle filling stations in a local school district to the development of a Zero Waste Plan at a local university. Notably, 25% of the funding will go toward supporting food waste diversion initiatives, underscoring the community’s acknowledgement of food waste as the single largest source of material entering the landfill. In fact, a recent study by SWACO found that 83% of residents are concerned about the amount of food wasted every day and 89% of residents support Central Ohio’s goal of achieving a 75% diversion goal by 2032.

“Central Ohio is home to so many schools and organizations who are committed to creating a healthier, more resilient community – not just today, but for future generations of Ohioans as well,” said Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO's Communications Manager. “As our population continues to boom, addressing our waste systems and ensuring the protection of our environment and economy will become a shared responsibility. We’re so pleased to be able to partner with and support the waste reduction and diversion journeys of these incredible community partners. Through our work together, we will continue to make a big difference for central Ohio.”

The following is a list of the 2022 Community Waste Reduction Grant recipients:

  1. All Saints Episcopal Church New Albany ($1,784.00) to help implement a residential food waste drop-off location.

  2. Bexley City Schools ($12,033.00) to help underwrite the installation of refillable water bottle filling stations across the district.

  3. Columbus Fashion Alliance ($20,000) to help support activities related to textile waste reduction and recycling.

  4. City of Gahanna ($7,371.00) to help implement a residential food waste drop-off location.

  5. City of New Albany ($13,042.00) to support the implementation of single-stream recycling in city buildings.   

  6. City of Reynoldsburg ($12,488.82) to help implement single-stream recycling in city buildings and improve and expand the existing single-stream recycling at city parks.

  7. The Ohio State University (OSU) ($9,571.03) to support the development and implementation of a food waste drop-off location for staff at OSU Wexner Medical Center.

  8. Otterbein University ($16,900.00) to assist in the development of a Zero Waste Plan.

  9. Plain Township ($1,100.00) to help implement single-stream recycling at the Plain Township Aquatic Center. 

The Community Waste Reduction Grant program is an important opportunity for local organizations to bring their waste-reduction ideas to life, among both their customers and staff.

“We are grateful to SWACO for selecting the City of Reynoldsburg as one of the recipients of the 2022 Community Waste Reduction Grant,” said Donna Bauman, director of Reynoldsburg Parks & Recreation.  “This grant will enable us to expand our recycling efforts in our parks and begin a robust recycling program for staff at the Reynoldsburg City Hall building.  It is imperative that we all do our part, to Recycle Right.”

“The Ohio State University is grateful for SWACO’s generous support.  As one of central Ohio’s largest employers, we are thrilled with the opportunity to expand home composting accessibility to our staff.  This grant will provide many individuals with an avenue to divert food waste, which is the largest waste stream found in the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill,” said Molly Kathleen, Zero Waste Coordinator, The Ohio State University.

Last year, SWACO awarded $224,000 across 15 local organizations, schools and non-profits in Central Ohio. More grant funding was awarded in 2021 due to the increase in waste material created as a result of residents and families spending the majority of their time at home during the height of the pandemic.

SWACO will begin accepting applications for 2023 projects in late April 2022. Information will be available on swaco.org/grants.

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