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EPA Grant Supports School Composting Program And Curriculum

Release Date: 4/21/2000
Contact Information: Jennifer McNeil
(206) 553-1217

April 21, 2000 - - - - - - - - - - 00-26

For Immediate Release

On April 20, 2000, EPA Region 10 announced that a project proposal by the City of Eugene Solid Waste and Recycling Program in Eugene, OR is one of three in the region that have been selected for funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program. Nationally, the EPA has selected a total of 27 innovative community and business partnership projects, from nearly 1,000 applicants, for grants which will support creative local partnerships that promise measurable environmental results and more livable communities.

The City of Eugene’s project, “Sustainable Development at Eugene School,” will demonstrate a school district food waste composting program and provide a supplemental sustainability curriculum for students. Upon full implementation, it is expected that the composting program will reduce landfill waste by up to 150 tons annually and provide cost-savings to the school district of at least $10,000 a year. Three elementary, two middle, and one high school within the district of over 18,000 students and 2,000 staff have responded to the City’s proposal to site in-vessel composters at their schools and have committed to adopt a composting curriculum. While the primary goal is to reduce the amount of organic materials entering the waste stream, siting this technology at schools in Eugene will not only divert additional volumes of food waste from the landfill, but will also serve as an educational focal point to instill a sustainability ethic within students’ lives.

Awards will be made after approval of final grant packages. The grant awards, which will total approximately $4 million, complete the fourth and final year of the Sustainable Development Challenge Grant (SDCG) Program and bring the total number of projects funded under this program to 123. All of these projects take innovative, environmentally responsible approaches to a wide variety of urban and rural environmental problems related to air and water quality, toxic substances, and/or solid waste management. Further information, including descriptions of the 27 new projects, is available at: