Schools Mini-grants

The school grant cycle is closed!  RECYCLEMORE awarded all of the school grants for fiscal year 2013 - 2014.  We are no longer accepting applications.  Please check back during the Winter of 2014 for an update on a new grant cycle for 2015-2015.

More About School Mini Grants

The Authority sponsors a "mini-grant" program to fund educational programs and materials, outreach to multi-cultural communities, purchase of recycling or composting bins, and other efforts resulting in a reduction of waste sent to landfills.  To obtain a paper application or discuss a potential project, please call (510) 215-3125 and ask to speak with the Mini-Grant Coordinator

Who Are We?

The West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority ("Authority") is a joint powers authority created by the Cities of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo. City Council-members from each of the Member Cities serve as the Board of Directors of the Authority. Representation on the Board consists of three City Council-members from the City of Richmond and one City Council-member from the remaining cities - for a total of seven Directors. The Region consists of the approximately 74 square miles located within the boundaries of the Member Cities and also includes some of the unincorporated areas of West County.  


What is the Mini-grants Project About?

The Mini-grant Program is designed to more effectively meet the needs of a wide variety of potential applicants who need access to a relatively small amount of money, within a brief period of time, for a specific and limited purpose.  The Authority is looking for innovative projects that will increase individual and community involvement in decreasing the amount of waste generated and sent to the landfill, and to encourage the use of recycled or reused products.

Applications will be accepted and evaluated throughout the year until the funds are exhausted.  The minimum award amount is $150 and the maximum is $1000.

Who is Eligible and What are the Criteria?

  • This Mini-grant Program is open to all non-profits working in West Contra Costa County, West County schools, public or private, as well as other groups not related to schools who desire funding assistance with a waste prevention or recycling activity.
  • To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must be in compliance with all federal, state and local land use, regulatory and permit requirements; and must either be based in West Contra Costa County, or involve educational campaigns targeting West Contra Costa County students, residents, or businesses.
  • The project must not duplicate existing programs and services.
  • Applicants normally may only be awarded one mini-grant per fiscal year and only one mini-grant award normally may be open with any recipient at any given time.  


What Can’t You Use the Grant Money For?

Authority grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Repayment of existing debt or pre-existing tax liens or obligations
  • Payment of organizational overhead
  • Legal fees
  • Loan or bank fees
  • Subsidization of existing contracts


When is the Application Due and What are the Amounts?

There is no deadline for the Mini-grant Program applications.  Awards will be given on a first come-first serve basis to worthy applicants.  Proposals may be mailed or hand delivered to: 


West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority

One Alvarado Square, Building #5

San Pablo, CA 94806

Attention: Mini-grants Program 


Mini-grants applications take approximately 6-10 weeks to process depending upon when they are received.  For successful applicants, funds will be available for expenditure only after a funding agreement/contract between the Authority and the grantee is signed and fully executed.  The Authority will not be liable for any project costs incurred prior to the legal execution of the contract, unless mutually agreed upon in writing. A standard contract or funding agreement will be entered into following the grant award.  

The Authority reserves the right to revoke any grant for which a contract is not executed, due to delays on the part of the grantee, within two (2) months of the award.  Funded projects must be initiated within three (3) months of execution of the contract or grant funds will revert back to the Authority.

What are some Conditions of the Grant?

All materials submitted become the property of the West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority, and will not be returned.  Funds awarded are public funds and any information submitted or generated is subject to public disclosure requirements.

The Authority reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to waive minor irregularities in submittal requirements, to request modifications of the proposal, to accept or reject any or all proposals received, to grant full or partial funding of any request, and/or to cancel all or part of this grant solicitation at any time prior to awards.

For inquiries or clarification of this Mini-grant Program, please call (510) 215-3125 and ask to speak with the Mini-Grant Program Manager.


What Needs to Be Submitted?

  • One original and one complete copy of the proposal, with all relevant documents attached.  
  • All materials, unless otherwise noted, are to be printed double-sided on 8 1/2" x 11" recycled content paper.  The original proposal may be printed single-sided.
  • All costs incurred in the preparation of a proposal are the responsibility of the applicant.

How will the Proposals Be Evaluated?

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by staff members.  During the review process, program staff may contact the applicant for additional information or to clarify proposal content, and may elect to interview applicants or do a site visit prior to making a funding recommendation.  However, an expression of interest by staff should not be construed as an indication of forthcoming grant approval.

Staff recommendations will be presented to the Executive Director for approval.  The Executive Director of the Authority will make final funding approval based on staff recommendation.  


What are the Evaluation Criteria?

All submitted proposals which are in compliance with the RFP requirements will be evaluated and rated, according to the following criteria: 

  1. Project Design - Clear and comprehensible proposal with a realistic timeline; project activities well defined and technically feasible.
  2. Objectives - Clearly stated, specific, realistic, and measurable.
  3. Organizational Capacity - Management and staff qualified to implement project and achieve stated objectives.
  4. Financial Viability - Organization demonstrates sound fiscal management; project budget is realistic and cost effective.
  5. Impact - Extent of contribution to solid waste reduction and diversion in West Contra Costa County; transferability of successful waste prevention/recycling tasks and strategies. 


Additional evaluation factors - Assessment of proposals may also include consideration of such issues as geographic distribution of services, demographic diversity, extent of collaborative and community support and public education potential.


Proposal Content and Organization
(Applicant's Check List)

For mini-grants, a complete proposal must include all of the following forms and supporting documents to be eligible for consideration.  For School garden and compost projects requiring tools, equipment, and start-up technical assistance, please see the separate application.

One original proposal and one copy of the following:

  • Form A:  Application Cover Page
  • Form B:  Project Summary & Narrative
  • Project Narrative, one double-sided page maximum
  • Form C:  Project Budget
  • List of key project personnel

If applicable:

  • Organizational Budget for the current fiscal year indicating expenses and revenues
  • Governing Board roster, indicating officers, addresses and affiliations
  • Proof of federal non-profit status (if applying as a non-profit) or proof of                                                                                                                                incorporation in California (if applying as a corporation)
Winner Amount Project Name
Creative Reuse Through Education $4020 Verde Partnership Garden
Salvador Velasco $4500 Home Composting Workshop, Spanish
Project Create $4697 Creative Reuse Through Education
The Creek Keepers $5000 Richmond High School Composting Project