UPDATE: The 4Rs Grants Program will be suspended for the next grant cycle (Program Year 2023-24)
4Rs Grants Program
Historically, the Office of Sustainability 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.
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).
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
Current Program Year (PY) 2022-2023 Grantees
A total grant amount of $194,066 will be distributed to 6 Mega Grant grantees and 10 Mini Grant grantees between fall 2022 to fall 2023. The list of the current year’s grantees and their projects can be found here. Congratulations to the newest recipients of the 4Rs Grants Program!
Past Years’ Grantees
- PY2018-19 Grantee Snapshot: $200,239 total grant funding, 6 Mega Grants and 10 Mini Grants distributed.
- PY2019-20 Grantee Snapshot: $302,038 total grant funding, 11 Mega Grants and 15 Mini Grants distributed.
- PY2020-21 Grantee Snapshot: $199,615 total grant funding, 6 Mega Grants and 12 Mini Grants distributed.
- PY2021-22 Grantee Snapshot: $245,236 total grant funding, 8 Mega Grants and 12 Mini Grants distributed.
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
If you have questions regarding the 4Rs Grants Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-442-2666.