The Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) is accepting grant applications for the 2021 grant round, beginning July 1. Grant applications are due by noon on Friday, Aug. 21.  A grant application workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on July 29 at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) office, 4 Industrial Drive, St. James MO. This workshop will also be offered via Zoom, and those interested in participating online must register with Jill Hollowell, MRPC environmental specialist by calling 573-265-2993 or by emailing jhollowell@meramecregion.org.

This workshop ensures that potential grantees know application requirements and understand the benefits and obligations, should they receive funding for their projects.  While the exact figure is not yet known, the board expects to award approximately $150,000 in grants that help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. Projects must be located in or benefit the Ozark Rivers district, which includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

Grants are available to city and county governments, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, citizens and other interested parties to increase waste reduction, reuse and recycling rates in our district. The district’s list of targeted materials is based on the state targeted materials list. In addition, the Ozark Rivers SWMD has identified multiple priority project areas to address specific needs in the district — however, all projects will be considered.  The following highlights two of the seven priorities:

  • Education: All grant submissions should include an aspect of education. Topics may include waste reduction and recycling education for increased participation and awareness to address contamination in recycling programs.
  • End-Market Development:  Projects that support the development of new markets and the expansion of existing markets for recovered materials generated in our region are of the highest priority. Projects may include feasibility studies or equipment necessary to turn recycled material into a new product or reuse of material into existing feedstock.

In its 2020 grant round, Ozark Rivers awarded $197,586 to fund or partially fund 13 projects throughout the seven-county area. These projects included recycling equipment purchases, illegal dump cleanups, school and non-profit recycling programs, educational programs, continued support of the household hazardous waste collection sites in Rolla and St. Robert and special collections for electronics, appliances and tires.  The grant dollars awarded by Ozark Rivers comes through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and represent a portion of the landfill tipping fees collected state-wide.

A complete listing of priorities and target materials is included in the grant application and available at www.ozarkrivers.org/grant-projects/how-to-apply/.

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