Metro is opening the application cycle for the 2022 Investment and Innovation grants. These grants support creative ideas to prevent and reduce waste in the garbage and recycling system of greater Portland. The program invests in local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities to explore new ways to decrease trash through repair, reuse, recycling, composting or preventing food waste. The Metro Council created the Investment and Innovation program in December 2017, partially in response to changes in worldwide recycling markets which limited the amount of materials being recycled.

All applicants must demonstrate a commitment to equity to be eligible for a grant. The Investment and Innovation program seeks to foster economic opportunities and provide other benefits for people who have been left out of the garbage and recycling system, particularly communities of color. Funding priorities for the 2022 grant cycle include investments in recycling infrastructure, reuse and repair, and food waste prevention and rescue.

“The I&I program is yet another way Metro promotes recycling, reuse, repair and food recovery – all with an eye on equity,” said Roy Brower, director of the Waste Prevention and Environmental Services department at Metro. “The program has funded many worthwhile projects over the last three years and I expect many outstanding proposals this year.”

Metro proposes to award up to $2 million total this year for two different types of grants:

Program grants between $10,000 and $100,000 each that could support personnel costs, operations and equipment.

Capital grants between $50,000 and $500,000 each for larger investments such as machinery or other capital improvements.

Anyone interested in applying for a grant is invited to participate in upcoming webinars or attend virtual office hours. These sessions will provide helpful information for prospective grant applicants. Attendance is optional and not a prerequisite for application.

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