Zero Waste Grant Program

Posted on June 30, 2011

Beginning in early 2011 the Marin County Hazardous and Solid Waste Management Joint Powers Authority (JPA) created a grant program to provide funding for Marin’s Cities, Towns, the County and Special Districts to develop Zero Waste Programs. The first year of grant funding included $245,111 of grant funds collected from tipping fees on waste disposed. Funds are distributed to municipalities on a per capita basis. Fairfax, Larkspur, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Tiburon and the County all applied for and received grants. Other Cities and Towns allotted funding will be encumbered and carry over to the next grant term for that specified agency.

The majority of Cities and Towns that received grants applied with the intent of adopting elements of the JPA’s Zero Waste Tool Kit. These elements include adopting a Construction and Demolition Ordinance, a Commercial and Multifamily Recycling Ordinance, a Zero Waste Resolution, and provide food scrap composting to their service area. All of these tasks will facilitate reuse, recycling, waste reduction and diversion in a uniform manner throughout Marin.

Several communities that had received enough funding chose to both adopt the Zero Waste Tool Kit documents and also fund additional zero waste programs. The towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo are using some of their funding to pay for ordinance enforcement costs, recycling at local events, adding public recycling receptacles, and composting programs. The City of San Rafael chose to use some of their funding to help pass a single use plastics ordinance.

The County chose to use all of their funding to partner with the North Bay Conservation Corps to fund food scrap composting at large events throughout Marin as well as funding for recycling coordination at schools and educational composting programs. So far this year the program has provided funding for waste reduction at the Marin County Fair, Bioneers, and the Far West Fest. Additionally, the Conservation Corps provides a service to local K through 12 schools setting up and enhancing recycling and composting programs.

The Conservation Corps will ensure the right types of containers are available and properly placed and conducts pre and post audits of the types of materials conserved and disposed to gauge the success of the program. Conservation Corps staff members develop green teams at each school that will maintain the systems and provide further encouragement at the schools making the program self sustaining.

This is the first year the grant funding has been available from the Marin County Hazardous and Solid Waste Management JPA. The JPA grant program seeks to encourage development of innovative waste reduction programs and foster partnerships between municipalities, non-profits and local contractors.