Metro is in the process of evaluating the grant program to determine whether there will be a grant cycle in 2021. The information will be posted on this page as soon as it is available. Sign up for updates about Investment and Innovation grants delivered to your inbox.
Oregon has a long history of leadership when it comes to preventing waste and promoting recycling. Metro is in a unique position to invest in and support innovation in the local reuse and recycling economy and help businesses and communities succeed.
In December 2018, Metro launched the Investment and Innovation grant program to support for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations involved in reducing waste through repairing, reusing, recycling, composting or making energy from the stuff that is discarded in the greater Portland area.
The main goal of the program is to strengthen local efforts to reduce waste, make better use of the waste that is produced and help foster economic opportunities for people who have historically been left out of the benefits of the garbage and recycling system, particularly communities of color.
- Offers grants to for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations involved in reducing, reusing, recycling, composting or recovering energy from materials that may otherwise be discarded as waste.
- Focuses on strengthening the reuse, repair and recycling systems in greater Portland, as well as reducing environmental and health impacts in the local manufacturing and use of products.
- Helps achieve the goals of the 2030 Regional Waste Plan, the blueprint for improving the garbage and recycling system in greater Portland.
- Advances Metro’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by investing in projects that benefit communities and workers in the garbage and recycling system, and increases access for historically underserved residents.
- Awards grants through a competitive solicitation process and recommendations by a review committee.
- Produces annual reports on the program’s activities with a full program review at the end of the first three years.
Investment and Innovation program evaluation
In 2021, Metro evaluated the first three years of the Investment and Innovation program to assess how well the program is meeting its goals of reducing waste and advancing racial equity. The evaluation report summarizes the impacts of grant-funded projects and highlights grants with significant environmental and racial equity outcomes as case studies. The evaluation provides transparency and accountability for the program work to date. The evaluation report and a high-level Impact Summary are available below.
Previous grant cycles
In 2018, Metro awarded nearly $2.5 million to 14 local businesses and nonprofit organizations to reduce waste in greater Portland and help generate more benefits from the area’s garbage and recycling system. Metro’s funding was matched by nearly $2.4 million in other cash or in-kind support.
2018-19 Investment and Innovation grants
In 2019, Metro awarded 17 Investment and Innovation grants totaling over $6 million to local businesses and nonprofit organizations in greater Portland. Metro’s funding will be matched by nearly $7 million in other cash or in-kind support provided by the grant recipients.
2019-20 Investment and Innovation capital grants
2019-20 Investment and Innovation program grants
In 2020, Metro awarded 11 Investment and Innovation grants totaling $472,361 to local businesses and nonprofit organizations in greater Portland. Metro’s funding will leverage an additional $93,070 in matching funds provided by the three business applicants. Nonprofit organizations were not required to provide matching funds in 2020.
Due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Investment and Innovation program did not award capital grants in the 2020 grant cycle.
2020-21 Investment and Innovation program grants