ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County plans to give out $300,000 in grants to fund waste reduction, use and reuse and recycling programs.

They're accepting applications designed around several aspects of waste management including:

  • Reducing the amount of solid waste generated
  • Recycle the greatest amount of waste feasible
  • Educate the public on proper waste management

The grant money comes from the Governor's Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment or, SCORE program.

Environmental Specialist Troy Freihammer says after the county figures out exactly what it needs from the money given by the state, they decide how much they can give out in grants.

"Do we have any big project on our own horizon? Then from there we go and figure out the certain amount of money we'll make available for grants."

Freihammer says since Stearns County only usually needs the money for one program, the rest can go other places.

"For Stearns County, the only thing we undertake it the household hazardous waste program. So we do have the opportunity to pass some of the funds on to a private business or non-profit that has a good idea that either reduces or recycles hazardous waste."

Since the money has to be first given out through the legislature, the county can't guarantee it can run the grant program every year. Though Freihammer says they've been given more money each year for the past 5 years.

If you're interested in applying for the grant, the county has an application on their website. Any applications need to be done by 3:30 p.m. on April 30th.