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  • 4RS Grants Program students with garden box

UPDATE: The 4Rs Grants Program will be suspended for the next grant cycle (Program Year 2023-24)

4Rs Grants Program

Historically, the Sustainability Department offered funding assistance to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions (e.g., schools, school/college districts, state university systems, etc.) through the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot – Compost) Grants Program. The 4Rs Grants Program’s objective is to divert waste from being sent to the landfill by financially supporting eligible entities to create and implement projects in San Mateo County that focused on the 4Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. The program offered two tiers of funding: (1) Mini Grant ($2,000 to $5,000) and (2) Mega Grant (up to $25,000) to many organizations in the community.

Past Grants

Mini Grant: Previously, the Mini Grant (for funding requests from $2,000 to $5,000) was available to support and fund small projects that educated and increased awareness around the 4Rs – including reducing waste, increasing recycling, increasing or implementing composting, and increasing reuse. The Mini Grant was designed to serve a variety of potential applicants who needed access to small amounts of funding for a limited time and for a specific purpose.

Mega Grant: Previously, the Mega Grant (for funding requests up to $25,000) was available for qualified entities to help initiate or expand innovative programs that promoted reuse, waste reduction, recycling, and composting or education about these environmental issues throughout San Mateo County (county-wide focus).

Environmental Club of Half Moon Bay High School

Half Moon Bay High School Environmental Club students promoting recycling in their school

Examples of Past Grant Projects

  • Classroom workshops, trainings, or activities by nonprofits
  • School garden start-up funding, which included funding for garden structures such as sheds and garden beds constructed with salvaged lumber
  • Fixit Clinics or other reuse/repair projects
  • Food waste reduction and reuse programs
  • Materials associated with expanding/implementing a campus/facility-wide recycling, reuse or waste reduction program
  • Environmental educational field trips to waste or recycling facilities, museums, etc.
  • Books, materials and equipment, which were utilized by teachers and students over the years
Community members collecting food scraps to compost using buckets provided by Fresh Approach

Community members collecting food scraps to compost using buckets provided by Fresh Approach

Past Years’ Grantees

4Rs Grant Program zoom meeting

Teacher fellows participating in a four-day Summer Institute, an event hosted by the San Mateo County Office of Education as part of its Zero Waste Fellowship Program

Update: The 4Rs Grants Program will be suspended for the next grant cycle (Program Year 2023-24)

Other Resources


If you have questions regarding the 4Rs Grants Program, please email or call 888-442-2666.