Small communities in Michigan have a new resource to help them educate households about how and what to recycle. The Michigan Small Community Education Grant Program is open now through October 2022. The effort is funded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) along with The Recycling Partnership, the nonprofit action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good. Eligible communities and organizations include nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, regional planning agencies, cities, villages, townships, charter townships, counties, municipal solid waste authorities, and resource recovery authorities located in Michigan working with less than 10,000 households.

“EGLE is excited to offer this grant opportunity specifically to small communities in Michigan to further recycling education and continue our work to improve recycling throughout our state,” said Liz M. Browne, director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division.  “We all have a role to play in the circular economy and these grants will help the smaller communities engage with their residents and improve the quality of recyclable materials collected in curbside and drop off programs across Michigan.”

Whether the local recycling program is curbside and/or drop-off, the Michigan-only online platform gives access to The Recycling Partnership’s customized templates including postcards, information sheets, cart tags and dumpster signage, which can be localized, printed and sent directly to residents, all in one place. Communities can customize materials with their logo, website and phone number, and all pieces are designed bilingual in English and Spanish.

“The Michigan Small Community Education Grant Program is just one of the many ways The Recycling Partnership is working with EGLE to decrease contamination and increase the quantity and quality of recyclables collected,” said Cassandra Ford, community program manager at The Recycling Partnership. “This project specifically focuses on small communities and provides them resources to easily send their residents customized recycling educational materials based on our best management practices without having to worry about budget.”

The grant opportunity was created to alleviate the financial challenges smaller Michigan communities face in providing recycling education and outreach materials to inform residents about how, where, and why to recycle. Funding is limited and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the program’s popularity, potential grantees are encouraged to apply early.

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