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The Residential Recycling Program offered the first Portland Recycles! Small Grants Program this spring. BPS received a total of 70 applications and 21 groups were funded through the program. The grant program’s goal is to offer neighborhood, community and nonprofit organizations money for projects or items that will help them overcome barriers to waste prevention and increase recycling while educating the community.
“Neighborhood residents are the ones out in front on recycling,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “This grant program is just one more tool for those community leaders to extend their success and keep innovating.”
The organizations that submitted grant proposals ranged from schools to neighborhood groups to grassroots organizations. The funded projects ranged from purchasing durable, reusable dishware to offering on-site composting to creating training and presentation materials to educate and inform a variety of Portland communities about waste prevention and recycling.
While implementation is still happening around the city, some organizations have completed their projects. One example is Holy Redeemer Catholic School. Before the school year ended, they completed their project, Holy Redeemer Recycles! This included purchasing kitchen serving pans and metal utensils for the cafeteria. The kids have taken an active role in this program, as well as a project to track garbage disposal. Students helped decrease garbage pick up from three days a week to one day a week by creating a system to sort items for garbage, recycling and composting. Not only was this a learning opportunity for the students, but a savings to the school by reducing their garbage bill by 30 percent.
Program funding is part of an initiative of the Portland Recycles! Plan for outreach and education around increased waste prevention and recycling in the Portland community.
Grant amounts ranged from $500 to $2,500. The total amount of funding available was $25,000 to neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, ethnic groups, schools, or communities of faith within the city of Portland.
Read about the funded organizations and their projects at www.portlandonline.com/bps/grants.