The Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) is accepting grant applications for the 2023 grant round, beginning July 1. Grant applications are due by noon on Friday, Aug. 19. A grant application workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on July 27 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 must register with Jill Hollowell, MRPC environmental specialist by calling 573-265-2993 or by emailing [email protected].

This workshop ensures that potential grantees know application requirements and understand the benefits and obligations, should they receive reimbursement 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 reduce the amount of waste being landfilled through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting. 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.  Potential projects can focus on district priorities for education, end-market development for recycled materials, waste reduction and reuse, hard to recycle items such as carpet and mattresses, food waste reduction or composting, construction and demolition waste, and special events/business/multi-family dwelling recycling.

In its 2022 grant round, Ozark Rivers awarded $272,796.92 to fund or partially fund 11 projects throughout the seven-county district. These projects included tools and materials for repurposing and repairing goods, food waste reduction education, bio-digestion of cafeteria food waste, assistance to local recycling programs and collection centers along with district-wide programs for outreach and education, illegal dump cleanups, 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 represents a portion of the landfill tipping fees collected state-wide.

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