One Colorado-based nonprofit offers grants to organizations across the country to get them to be more sustainable. Studies show a lot of what people are putting in the recycling bin is not getting recycled for a number of different reasons. One of those is that people don’t know what can actually be recycled. So to help educate more people, Can’d Aid has a national grant called the Crush-it Crusade and encourages organizations to apply for money to launch their own recycling program.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of contamination that happens at the events and farmers’ markets, people are putting stuff in the wrong bins. So, having volunteers there that are ready, watching and helping people sort things appropriately and just try and make sure things are clean and ideal is possible before we send it away to the recycling center,” said Sarah Leavitt, Can’d Aid’s vice president of strategy and impact.
They’ve allocated a quarter of a million dollars to promote recycling nationwide. There are 25 organizations in Colorado that have gone through the grant program and about 100 nationwide. Some of those include the Boulder Farmers Market, street fairs, the Boys and Girls Club, and a couple of schools. “So people that apply, we asked for them to fill out diversion and report so that we can track the amount of waste that’s getting recycled and see if they’re hitting the mark, or if they’re not, or if we can help them,” Leavitt said. “We train the individuals on how to manage a sustainable recycling program and sort the waste and work with waste haulers. So, we really want to make sure that each organization has all of the tools they need to make sure this is a long-term program and it’s not a one-and-done thing.”