The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is awarding nearly $600,000 in grants to 17 organizations around the state to promote reduction, reuse and recycling of consumer materials. These annual grants, provided by DEQ’s Materials Management program, boost projects that benefit Oregon’s environment and share best practices.
“Oregon has long had a strong recycling ethic,” said DEQ Director Richard Whitman. “But we are learning that we must do even more to fight pollution of our land, air and water. These grants matter because organizations need money to continue doing this important work.”
Some examples of funded projects include:
- Preventing wasted food by purchasing freezers and other equipment for Marion Polk Food Share, investing in a farm-to-school program in Jackson County and developing a food waste curriculum for Portland Public Schools.
- Reducing throw-away plastic utensils at Bend’s High Desert Museum and at the Rosewood Initiative in Portland.
- Improving recycling in multifamily housing in Multnomah County, and starting a composting project in Douglas County.
The grants help support partnerships between community-based organizations and environmental groups; and many of the projects serve economically distressed and historically underserved communities, which supports DEQ’s commitment to environmental justice.
DEQ has awarded more than $9 million in materials management grants since 1991. The program moves the state toward its 2050 Vision for Materials Management, and plays a critical role in engaging Oregon communities in sustainable materials management practices.