The City has launched a Single-use Item (SUI) Reduction Grant to help organizations adopt more reusable options, ultimately decreasing the amount of waste being littered and ending up in landfills.
The one-time grant funding will help support eligible organizations in implementing the City’s new Single-use Item Reduction Bylaw, which was approved by Council in October and will go into effect on July 1, 2023. The bylaw bans plastic bags and specific Styrofoam items and sets out requirements for reusable cups and other accessories, like utensils and straws.
“In addition to the broader environmental benefits, we believe that organizations will see long-term cost savings due to switching to reusable items,” said Denis Jubinville, Branch Manager of Waste Services. “At the same time, we recognize that upfront costs can be a barrier. Our goal is to help support early adopters and organizations in need through this change.”
The SUI Reduction Grants will make up to $5,000 available, depending on the specific activities organizations commit to implementing. Eligible activities include, but aren’t limited to, purchasing reusable alternatives to single-use items, and purchasing, leasing or renting the equipment needed to wash and sanitize those items.
Eligible applicants include businesses, large event organizers, registered charitable organizations and community groups. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2022, or until all funding is allocated. In total, $73,000 in grant funding will be available in 2022.
The grant application process is straightforward, and funding will be provided through a single payment once an application is approved.
As a condition of receiving the funding, successful applicants are required to track the impact of their transition from disposables to reusables in terms of: number and type of SUIs avoided, change in operating cost, customer/client satisfaction, and change in litter around the organization.
SUIs represent a major form of waste in Edmonton, with about 450 million items winding up in landfill every year.
The new SUI bylaw sets targets to achieve a 10 percent per capita reduction in two years and a 20 percent reduction in four years.