You are here: Home Education Waste Reduction Grants

Waste Reduction Grant Program 2019


Goals of Grant: To provide funds to assist schools that are located in one of SWANCC's member communities with implementing reduce, reuse, recycle & compost initiatives and educate administrators, teachers, staff and students about the many benefits of enacting waste prevention measures. Visit for a list of member communities.    

Overview: The grant coordinator must outline the waste reduction project goals in this application, desired materials/equipment and associated costs, and agree to SWANCC’s Waste Reduction Grant Program Terms and Deadlines.  Grant coordinators may request funding from $200 up to $2,500, with the understanding that requested funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar.  Applications will be vetted by SWANCC staff and the number of grants awarded is dependent upon the total number of applications received and their projected costs, as funds are limited.

Eligible Expenditures:  SWANCC’s Waste Reduction Grant funds are to be used to start or expand programs and projects focused on preventing waste – reusing items and recycling materials or composting food waste.  Grant funds can be used to purchase, but are not limited to: reusable food trays, plates, cutlery or bulk condiment dispensers; reusable beverage cups, mugs, bottles or pitchers; waste-free lunch items such as reusable bags, napkins, food containers, etc.; indoor/outdoor recycling containers or composting bins; dry-erase boards, etc.

Non-Eligible Expenditures:  Grant funds cannot be used for maintenance or recycling/composting service fees; items that have on-going costs, such as office supplies, liner bags for recycling or composting containers, light bulbs, etc.; give-a-ways such as pencils, temporary tattoos and t-shirts; or fieldtrips.


1. The school, parent-teacher organization or other groups must match SWANCC’s funding dollar-for-dollar for approved/qualifying items and submit receipts for verification.  If a school seeks a grant for $400, expectations are that another $400 will be used to purchase like items or items associated with waste reduction initiatives.

2. The grant coordinator will establish a “Green Team” consisting of, at minimum, a school administrator (principal or assistant principal) teacher, student, food service provider, and custodial personnel. The Green Team should meet in November to develop an Action Plan for implementing waste reduction measures and meeting grant deadlines.  The Green Team agrees to meet regularly during the school year to monitor and evaluate the progress of the waste reduction measures and activities outlined in the plan, tweaking where necessary.

3. The Grant Coordinator agrees to conduct or coordinate two waste audits in the lunchroom (office, faculty lounge, and classrooms optional) to determine what materials can be reduced, reused, recycled or composted.  The first audit is to be conducted prior to the school’s December Holiday break.  This way, there will be data to compare and contrast the waste diverted after implementing the Action Plan by the grant report deadline.  If available, SWANCC staff can provide assistance for the first waste audit.

4. The Grant Coordinator agrees to submit a report to SWANCC in May that summarizes the accomplishments achieved during the grant cycle to include: wastes that were minimized; resources that were recovered through reuse, recycling and composting efforts; creative extension projects; and if there were any direct cost-savings as a result of the Action Plan initiatives.  SWANCC will provide a form for the report.  Photos need to accompany the report.

5. Agree for SWANCC staff to visit the school the following September to evaluate the long-term viability of the items purchased with grant funds and have a conversation with the Grant Coordinator about the challenges and successes.

October 25: Waste Reduction Grant applications due to SWANCC
November 15: SWANCC notifies recipients of grant award
December: Green Team conducts first Waste Audit
March 20: All receipts must be submitted to SWANCC for reimbursement along with proof of matching funds
April: Green Team conducts second Waste Audit
May 16: Grant Coordinator submits Report to SWANCC
September: SWANCC conducts a follow-up visit with grant coordinator



Questions:  Please contact SWANCC’s Recycling and Education Director, Mary Allen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (847) 724-9205, ext. 204, with any questions.

Download:  details, terms, and application:  pdf 2019 Waste Reduction Grant (282 KB)

Join Our Informative Elists

SWANCC offers several options to be informed of upcoming collection events and information for educators, organizations and businesses.

Sign up today

Contact SWANCC

Contact SWANCC with your recycling and
waste reduction questions.

Transfer Station

3 Providence Way, DesPlaines

M-F | 6 am - 4 pm
Sat | 6 am - 12 pm

You are here: Home Education Waste Reduction Grants