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Waste Reduction Grants

Waste Reduction Grant Program 2018

The mission of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County’s (SWANCC) Grant Program is to provide guidance and funding to assist public and private schools with understanding their waste streams to reduce landfill by establishing reduce, reuse, recycling & composting initiatives, and to educate teachers, staff and students about being better stewards of our environment.

To qualify to receive a SWANCC Waste Reduction Grant, a K-12 school must be located in a SWANCC-member community; or 50% of the student population must live in one or a combination of a SWANCC member community

Grant coordinators must outline the waste reduction goals, materials/equipment, and associated costs, and agree to SWANCC's grant program criteria and terms. Grant requests can be for $200 up to $2,500, with the understanding that the school or school group will match SWANCC's funds dollar-for-dollar. Applications are due to SWANCC by October 26, 2018, will be vetted by staff for merit, with awards announced by November 9, 2018.

Eligible Expenditures for Waste Reduction Grant Funds
SWANCC’s Grant funds are to be used to start or expand programs and projects focused on minimizing waste – reusing items and recycling/composting materials.  Grant funds can be used for, but are not limited to reusable food trays, cutlery, bulk condiment dispensers; reusable beverage cups, mugs or bottles; waste-free lunch items such as reusable bags, napkins, food containers, etc.; indoor/outdoor recycling or composting bins; dry-erase boards, etc.

Non-Eligible Expenditures
Grant funds cannot be used for maintenance or recycling service fees; for items that have an ongoing cost such as office supplies, liner bags for recycling or composting containers, CFL light bulbs, etc.; for giveaways such as pencils, temporary tattoos, or t-shirts.

1. The school, parent-teacher organization or other groups must match SWANCC’s funding dollar-for-dollar, for approved/qualifying items and submit receipts for verification.
2. The grant coordinator will establish a “Green Team” consisting of, at a minimum, a school administrator (principal or assistant principal) teacher, student, food service provider, and custodial personnel. The Green Team should meet in early November to develop an action plan for implementing waste reduction measures and meeting grant criteria deadlines.  The Green Team agrees to meet regularly during the school year to monitor and evaluate the progress of the waste reduction measures and activities outlined in the plan, tweaking where necessary.
3. The Grant Coordinator agrees to conduct or coordinate two waste audits in the lunchroom (office, faculty lounge and classrooms optional) to determine what materials can be reduced, reused or recycled.  The first audit is to be conducted prior to the school’s December Holiday break.  This way, there will be data to compare and contrast the waste diverted after implementing the waste reduction plan by the grant report deadline.  If available, SWANCC staff is willing to provide assistance with the first waste audit.
4. The Grant Coordinator agrees to submit a report to SWANCC in May that summarizes the accomplishments achieved during the grant cycle to include: wastes that were minimized; resources that were recovered through reuse and recycling efforts; creative extension projects; and if there were any direct cost-savings as a result of the Waste Reduction Plan initiatives.  SWANCC will provide a form for the report.  Photos need to accompany the report.
5. Agree for SWANCC staff to visit the school the next school year to follow up on the status and long-term viability of the school’s previous year’s grant program challenges and successes.

October 26:  Waste Reduction Grant applications due to SWANCC
November 9:  SWANCC notifies recipients of grant award
December 14:  Green Team conducts first Waste Audit
March 30:  All receipts must be submitted to SWANCC for reimbursement along with proof of matching funds receipts
April 26:  Green Team conducts second Waste Audit
May 24:  Grant Coordinator submits Report to SWANCC
June 7:  School will receive a Certificate from SWANCC



Please contact SWANCC’s Recycling and Education Director, Mary Allen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (847) 724-9205, ext. 204, with any questions.

Download details, terms, and application:  pdf 2018 Waste Reduction Grant (545 KB)

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