The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Monday announced the recipients of the agency’s Community Recycling Grant Program. IDEM awarded $541,245.00 to 15 applicants including one in Marshall County. 

“Community recycling grants provide direct investments that make recycling more accessible to Hoosiers. Historically, these grants have provided new equipment for recycling operators and improved local collection programs,” said IDEM Commissioner Brian Rockensuess. “These grants will make a significant impact on community recycling efforts across Indiana.”

The grants are available to counties, municipalities, solid waste management districts, schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations located in Indiana.

Locally, the Marshall County Solid Waste District was awarded $18,844.  The grant will fund the district’s spring environmental education campaign entitled “Transform Tomorrow When You Recycle.”

“The campaign’s goal is to reduce the number of recyclables going to landfill from Marshall County,” said Marianne Peters, District Director. “To do that, we want to increase consumer confidence that recycling is working and that it has a lot of benefits besides making less waste. For instance, recycling creates jobs, lowers our carbon emissions, and even improves our air quality. The last few years the waste industry has dealt with COVID, service interruptions, and driver shortages. A lot of people have lost faith that their recycling is really being recycled. However, recycling opportunities have actually increased for our residents and the infrastructure has improved, too, with new technology and capabilities.”

The “Transform Tomorrow” campaign will make use of billboards, direct mailers, educational newsletters, radio appearances, and social media. “People aren’t sure what to put in the recycle bin,” said Peters. “This campaign will provide information to clear up the confusion and reduce contamination.” There will also be opportunities to see modern waste management firsthand. The district will offer several ‘waste tours’ to the materials recovery facility to see recycling sorted and a local landfill to see how trash is managed. The tours will be open to all ages.

The campaign will begin in January and continue through April.

This grant funding is intended to create successful, cost-effective programs. Applicants must demonstrate a positive environmental impact within the project service area, an increase in waste diversion because of the project, and show the sustainability of the project.

Grants are funded through IDEM’s Solid Waste Management Fund. Funds come from the solid waste management fee (IC 13-20-22-1). The fee consists of a $0.50 per ton charge on solid waste for final disposal at Indiana municipal solid waste landfills and incinerators. None of the funding comes from tax dollars.

Other recipients awarded were:

  • Brown County Solid Waste Management District $8,363
  • City of Nappanee $100,000
  • Clark County Solid Waste $12,173
  • Dearborn County Solid Waste Management District $68,667
  • Floyd County Solid Waste Management District $25,125
  • GardenQuest INC. $1,994
  • Henry County Solid Waste Management District $8,363
  • Indianapolis Airport Authority $100,000
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Inc. $34,793
  • Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District $3,000
  • Purdue University Campus Planning, Architecture and Sustainability $10,108
  • Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County $100,000
  • Shelby County Recycling District $22,954
  • Sullivan County Recycling Center $26,861