One of the most important things the MARC Solid Waste Management District’s does is to provide financial support to projects in our region that reduce the material we send to landfills. The District receives funding every year from the fees collected from the state’s landfills and transfer stations. Half of that amount is used to fund local waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects through a grant program. Since the grant program started in 1993, the District has awarded more than $7 million in local grants to support 261 projects carried out by public, private and nonprofit organizations. The wide range of activities we support generally falls into five complementary areas: waste reduction, recycling, composting, education and market development.
- Waste reduction addresses the challenges of finding new uses for materials before they become “waste.” These funds often go to organizations that accept contributions of used and salvaged materials. Examples of these grantees include Habitat Restore, the Surplus Exchange and Revolve Community Bike Shop.
- Funds awarded for recycling and composting aim to develop and grow the regional collection and processing infrastructure. District resources have been used to create drop-off recycling centers in communities; develop municipal yard waste collection sites; purchase equipment such as tub grinders and balers for processing collected material; and purchase vehicles for organizations to collect and transport recyclables.
- The grants issued for education help build awareness of the benefits of waste reduction and recycling, and inform people about opportunities to reduce waste. A variety of formal and informal programs have been developed to educate residents, businesses, schools and local governments.
- Market development fosters businesses that manufacture and market recycled-content products and strengthens consumer demand for those products. Market development can include, for example, expanding the processing and remanufacturing capacity of recycling businesses to handle the increasing volume of collected recyclables.
We are very proud of 2013’s group of grant recipients and excited about their projects. I hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about the District grant program. The District could not accomplish its waste diversion goals without our grantees. In future posts I’ll highlight some of their individual accomplishments.
Here is a list of our 2013 grant projects:
- Atlas Glass: $30,240 to purchase a trailer for loading glass picked up at curbside, and educational materials promoting curbside service.
- Sleepyhead Beds: $30,252 for transportation costs associated with picking up mattresses otherwise headed for the landfill, and dropping them off for children who do not have beds.
- City of Platte City: $33,765 toward a new truck for curbside recycling with carts.
- Southeast Enterprises: $30,000 to support transportation costs associated with a regional holiday light recycling program.
- Cass County Sustainability Committee: $16,800 to promote Cass County’s drop-off recycling program, located in multiple municipalities.
- Park University: $11,700 to support a project coordinator, service fees and educational efforts for the university’s new food waste composting program.
- Nelson Atkins Museum of Art: $14,819 for recycling containers at the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden and environs.
- The Rehabilitation Institute: $55,145 for a donations coordinator, a half-time driver for pick up and a fork lift to support the second year of a successful book recycling project.
- Missouri Organic Recycling: $44,785 to support coordinator salary, outreach materials, truck lease and bags to support recycling and composting at 8-12 local public events.
- JobOne: $11,782 to support the expansion of JobOne’s drop-off recycling program in Grandview. Funds will support costs for a forklift and outreach material.
- St. Teresas Academy: $4,000 to purchase six outdoor recycling containers for collecting plastic bottles and cans at the school’s new outdoor track, also used by community members.
- Truman Heritage Habitat: $22,880 salary for a driver for pick-up of material for the new Habitat ReStore.
- Bridging The Gap: $36,760 to support marketing for the new Midwest Materials Exchange program, an on-line market place for by-product materials.
- Jerusalem Farm: $11,646 for a residential food-waste composting program in Pendelton Heights, a KC neighborhood in the Northeast.
- Revolve: $18,300 salary for a bicycle mechanic to ensure bikes collected are moving out and either reused or recycled. Funds also cover some outreach costs and tools.