To support more efforts that reduce waste, increase recycling, and enhance local markets for recyclable materials, King County’s Solid Waste Division will award $1.8 million to innovative waste reduction projects through its new Re+ Circular Economy Grant Program. A virtual information session on April 6 will provide all the details. Businesses, community-based organizations, tribal governments, colleges and universities, and self-employed individuals within King County’s 37-city service area that includes unincorporated areas are invited to apply for $20,000 to $300,000 in grant funding for each project. Projects can be located outside of the service area as long as they demonstrate an impact on King County’s solid waste stream.
The grant program is focused on two key objectives to reduce the amount of waste going to King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill:
—Prevention and reuse: Projects that support reducing the overall amount of materials an organization or community uses or purchases; using or developing infrastructure for handling or managing reusable products and materials; and sharing or donating reusable items or materials.
—Recycling: Projects that are designed to create new markets or expand existing markets for materials currently generated in the King County solid waste system, which excludes the cities of Seattle and Milton as these cities operate separate solid waste systems.
King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks values diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its work. Because equity and social justice (ESJ) drives how the Solid Waste Division delivers public programs and services, grant proposals will need to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to King County’s ESJ principles, including how their projects advance ESJ goals.
King County’s new Re+ Program is a roadmap for a healthy environment and economy that is reinventing the current waste management system and finding new purposes for the nearly 70% of recyclable materials that mistakenly end up in the landfill each day. King County is working instead to find ways to keep more of those materials in use longer, to secure more markets for reusable materials, and identify new and innovative methods to prevent and reduce waste. These efforts will support regional goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create new jobs in a green economy.
Re+ Circular Economy Grants are a companion element of NextCycle Washington, a public-private partnership launching in June to support funding for organizations and businesses diverting materials and using recycled materials in manufacturing.