Metro is opening the application cycle for the 2023 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 waste prevention, repair, reuse, recycling or composting. 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 2023 grant cycle include investments in recycling infrastructure, reuse and repair, food waste prevention and rescue, and transition to durable food service ware and packaging.
“I'm enthusiastic about the Metro Investment and Innovation grant program, which has provided 65 grants totaling $10.7 million since 2018,” said Metro Councilor Gerritt Rosenthal. “The grants fund grassroots efforts to boost recycling and reuse, and education in the complexity of waste management at the community level, and they invest in capital upgrades for businesses that provide recycling and composting services regionwide.”
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.
Optional informational webinars
Optional virtual "office hours" to discuss grant ideas
For summaries of previously awarded grants, links to previous grant cycles can be found on the Investment and Innovation program webpage.