Get up to $50k in grant dollars for your business.

BizRecycling Waste Reduction & Innovation Grants

Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy (R&E) has allocated funding to support area businesses, non-profits, schools, and colleges to implement projects that prevent the creation of waste, also known as “waste reduction.” Waste reduction means eliminating the use of materials that end up being discarded. Waste reduction is the most environmentally preferred strategy. For businesses it can take many different forms, including reusing source materials, bulk purchasing, packaging changes, technology enhancements or production redesign.

One-time grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to eligible businesses for expenses related to project planning, equipment, supplies, and capital improvements that result in significant reduction of the amount of solid waste the business creates. Applicants must contribute a 10% cash match of the total project cost.

There will be one more round of funding in 2022.

  • Second round applications are due 4:00 p.m. November 11, 2022. Applications will be notified by December 31 of funding decisions.

Proposed projects must demonstrate one or more the following:

  • Significantly reduce the amount of solid waste or recycling created by the business
  • Support the implementation of an industry-specific solution
  • Support an effort to manage waste higher on the EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy.

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

Infrastructure & Equipment

  • Infrastructure improvements to enhance industry-specific waste reduction and recycling capabilities.
  • Waste, recycling, and organics management infrastructure improvements among co-operative businesses located within same building or business park.
  • Equipment and supplies that move businesses from disposable items to reusable options.

Consultation & Staff Time

  • Staff or consultation time for an industry-specific subject matter expert to develop a plan to reduce the creation of waste at its source when the topic area is beyond the scope of BizRecycling consultants.
  • Staff or consultation time to develop and implement Environmentally Preferred Purchasing plans.
  • Staff or consultation time to develop co-operative purchasing groups to leverage access to bulk materials which align with the business’s environmental purchasing plan.

Other needs related to the overarching goals of BizRecycling and waste reduction and recycling best practices, as approved by R&E.

Ineligible expenses:

  • Trash, recycling, and organics hauling costs
  • Staff time to manage waste
  • Compostable food service ware
  • Dishwashers and reusable food service ware
  • Water bottle filling stations

Sample of previously funded projects:

  • Equipment to replace a Nitric Acid Etching system, which generates high amounts of solid and hazardous waste.
  • Equipment to reclaim sprayed powder coat for reuse.
  • Equipment to increase recovery of spent brewer’s grains forupcycling for food and farmers. Equipment and supplies to pilot the reuse of used grain bags.
  • Equipment to move mushroom retail trays to 100% compostable. Equipment to remove all non-recyclable plastic substrate bags from production process.
  • Equipment and supplies to implement a reusable container for roasted bean sales.
  • Applicant must contribute a 10% cash match of the total project cost.
  • Applicant must host 3 site visits with a BizRecycling Recycling Expert to (1) develop project plan and grant application, (2) implement activities, and (3) 18-month exit interview and walk-through.
  • Applicant must complete an exit interview and report at the end of the grant period about project objectives, volumes of materials reduced or recycled, and challenges, successes, and lessons learned. Any developed plans, polices or procedures must be shared with BizRecycling. A final payment of $250 will be withheld from the award. The final payment will be issued once these activities are complete.
  • Grant requests must be between $10,000 and $50,000.

Businesses must meet the following criteria.

  • For-profit or non-profit entity; all public, private and charter K-12 schools in Washington County; all k-12 charter schools with less than 250 students and all k-12 private schools in Ramsey County; private colleges and universities.
  • Must have a permanent physical location in Ramsey or Washington County.
  • Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Minnesota Department of Revenue at time of application.
  • Previous recipients of BizRecycling grants may apply. They must be in compliance with their previous grant contract.

Ineligible entities include home-based businesses; all public K-12 schools in Ramsey County; public entities; public colleges and universities; tenants in publicly owned spaces; and residential apartment and condo buildings.

Applicants must work with one of BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts to submit a grant application. The Recycling Expert will conduct an initial site assessment of your location. At the site assessment, they will provide recommendations for improvements and help you develop your project plan. They will help you assemble needed documentation and price quotes for your grant application. Applications who have not had a site assessment will not be reviewed.

To set-up your site assessment email or call 651-259-1845.

Completed applications must include the following:

Applications are due by 4:00 pm August 19 or November 11, 2022. E-mail applications to

Funding is limited. Applications will be reviewed by a committee and projects that best meet the project goals will be accepted until funds are exhausted.

Businesses will receive 50% of the grant award upon execution of a grant agreement. The remaining 50% will be disbursed after the business meets with the BizRecycling consultant and completes a report form verifying how the funds were spent. Businesses have 6 months to complete all activities.

R&E reserves the right to revise these guidelines as needed.


Email: Call: 651-259-1845

COVID Safe Site Assessments

Staff will follow recommendations for masking and social distancing as recommended by the CDC on the date of scheduled site visit. If the business does feel not comfortable with an in-person site visit, a virtual consultation, may be substituted.