Franklin County is home to hundreds of public events and festivals each year that contribute to the local $9.7 billion travel and tourism economy which employs more than 75,000 people. As a result, Columbus recently was ranked top Midwest destination for visitors according to a new study by J.D. Power
. To assist local event organizers reduce event-generated waste and divert as much as possible from the landfill, last year, SWACO launched a competitive grant program for local events.
The 2016 Event Waste Reduction Grant Program (formerly titled Events Sponsorship Pilot Program) provided a total of nearly $17,000 in funding for diversion programs at five (5) local events including Rock on the Range, the Columbus Arts Festival, the Dublin Irish Festival, BREAD Festival and the Columbus Food Truck and Cart Festival.
“For many of these events, some of which had attendance of over 40,000 people, it was their first time offering recycling. Others significantly increased the effectiveness of their previous waste reduction and recycling efforts,” said Kyle O’Keefe, SWACO’s Director of Innovation and Programs. “Every one of them has committed to sustaining and enhancing these efforts into the future.“
In 2017, SWACO plans to award $25,000 to local events and festivals. In addition to reducing the amount of waste generated and diverting valuable resources from the landfill, these grants also assist event organizers -build the infrastructure needed to sustain these efforts and contribute to a safe and healthy community for all Franklin County residents for many years.
2017 Grant Details and Eligibility Include:
• Competitive program that provides reimbursement funding only for activities that increase reuse, recycling and composting, as well as diversion-related outreach and education activities at public events.
• Applications are being accepted between December 15, 2016 and February 17, 2017 at 5 pm.
• Applications may be downloaded from http://www.swaco.org/Communities/Grant_Program.aspx
• Grants will range from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the size of the event.
• Grants will be awarded in March 2017.
• The event must be within SWACO’s jurisdiction
of Franklin County.
• Event must be open to the public with a projected attendance of 2,000 people or more.
• Funding will be evaluated based on an events proposed establishment or promotion of new waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting programs, and/or the significant expansion or improvement of existing diversion and outreach activities.
“Highly visible and effective waste reduction and diversion efforts at large public events provide great opportunities to raise public awareness about the impacts and importance of reuse, recycling and composting,” continued Director O’Keefe. “Furthermore, these activities help to position Central Ohio as an innovative leader in managing our local resources and solid waste materials.”
SWACO is available to assist applicants in discussing opportunities for potential funding under this grant program. Please email staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 614-801-6413 to discuss ideas, questions or concerns relating to the Event Waste Reduction Grant Program.