Community Innovation Fund (CIF) Projects

Since it's inception in 2020, the Rethink Waste Project's Community Innovation Fund has awarded more than $88K to 35 projects that reduce waste in Deschutes County.

Thanks to support from our partners – Deschutes County Solid Waste, Visit Central Oregon, City of Bend, Cascade Disposal, and Republic Services – CIF can now fund up to $5K per project with multiple award rounds each year. Applications are now open for the 2024 funding cycle!

Browse through the projects below to see the wide-range of applicants, ideas, and impacts. You can filter with the options below, or click a project for more details.

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  • $500-$2K
  • Under $500
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Composting Center at Deschutes County Juvenile Detention Facility Peace Garden

COIC Skills Lab
Fenced garden with plant beds and a shade structure with solar panel with this text overlaid at the bottom: "Deschutes Peace Garden - Juvenille Detention Center"

The COIC Skills Lab will build a composting system at the Deschutes County Juvenile Department Peace Garden and process the food waste and use the compost in the garden on site. In addition, they will also create and deliver an eco-literacy curriculum, which will include composting education.


Reusable Bag Initiative for HDFFA Fresh Harvest Kit Program in Deschutes County

High Desert Food and Farm Alliance
Paper bags of produce stamped with Fresh Harvest Kit sitting outside with a hand reaching

HDFFA will distribute Fresh Harvest Kits, their ready to eat meal kits, in reusable bags made from 100% recycled laminated PET material, diverting to 3,300+ units of waste from the Knott Landfill.


SFF Presents – landfill waste reduction, improved recycling and initiating composting

SFF Presents
A person holding a Big Ponderoo silicone pint glass with the festival out of focus in the background

SFF Presents will implement supervised recycling and food waste stations at their festivals and events with the goal of composting about 2,300 pounds of food waste and doubling recycling rates.


Boundless Farmstead – Down with Plastic Bags

Boundless Farmstead
A large amount of bright green fresh loose-leaf arugula

Boundless Farmstead will eliminate bagged greens from their Farmers Market and Locavore sales through a variety of innovative initiatives.


Farm to Warm Springs Project

Around the Bend Farms
Young farmer with hat next to seeding trays in a greenhouse

Around the Bend Farms will incorporate a cooling box to increase the longevity of the produce it delivers to recipients at Warm Springs Reservation through the VeggieRX grant administered by the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance.


Increase your water intake!

High Desert ESD
A group of people outside on a grass lawn with some students following a teacher

High Desert ESD will provide Juntos Aprendemos summer program participants with reusable water bottles, reducing the plastic bottles waste purchased over 8 summer programs within Bend, Redmond, Madras and Sisters.


Rubbish Renewed Walk our Talk Zero Waste Event Program

Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show
A model on stage in the foreground with a crowd of people in the background of a window-paneled arena

Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show will expand the Walk our Talk Program, a self-contained, reusable system for 600. The lendable system is modeled in a one night event saving thousands of disposable service ware from the landfill, and helping change mindsets.


Reusable Lending Ecosystem

Bicycle Rides Northwest (BRNW)
A group of people eating at picnic tables with some booths in the background

Bicycle Rides Northwest (BRNW) will establish and own, manage, and store a large-scale reusable mealware inventory with 400+ plates, bowls, cups and utensils (and possibly a portable commercial-grade dishwasher) available to established partner organizations.


Agricultural Packaging Repurposing Program

Central Oregon Locavore
A storage shed with a sign that reads: "Locavore Agricultural Packaging Recycle Program in collaboration with The Environmental Center"

Central Oregon Locavore will set up an outdoor storage shed to decrease the number of waxed produce boxes that are going to the landfill, while simultaneously saving local farmers and ranchers significant expenses.


Coming In Hot Composting at Worthy

Worthy Environmental
Sunflowers and other outdoor plants in a small outdoor garden

Worthy Environmental will use the Community Innovation Fund to purchase a composter and rain barrel to achieve a hot composting process and host two free composting workshops.


A More Sustainable Stay at Mt Bachelor Village

Mt Bachelor Village
A blue household recycling bin with a clear sign of what to and not to recycle

Mount Bachelor Village is expanding the reach of their tourism waste reduction pilot to improve the quality and quantity of recycled materials, specifically reducing plastic contamination.


Cascades Academy Classroom Composting

Cascades Academy
Exterior of Cascades Academy building

Cascades Academy is implementing an easy to understand, functional composting system for current classes and classes to come.


Cafeteria Waste Reduction

Bear Creek Elementary, Amity Creek Elementary, and REALMS
Student filling a water bottle at a refill station

Bear Creek Elementary, Amity Creek Elementary, and REALMS will reduce waste generated in their cafeterias by testing out a variety of reusable alternatives to single use items.


Bringing recycling in the room

Campfire Hotel
Campfire Hotel room

Campfire Hotel will add recycling containers for plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass with clear signage, in an accessible way, in each of the 100 rooms and also the lobby and meeting space.


Save the Bikes!

Bicycle Re-Source of Bend
Person fixing a seat on a bicycle with a banner behind that reads Bicycle Re-Source of Bend

Bicycle Re-Source of Bend will divert bicycles from landfill to community members by repairing donated bicycles and coordinating with local organizations and advocates to distribute the bicycles and accessories.


Blue Bins for Blue Bags at Tetherow

Tetherow Resort
Blue redeemable BottleDrop bag hanging between two blue recycling bins

Tetherow Resort will install 8 more recycling bins across the property to recycle redeemable bottles and cans, and donate proceeds to local nonprofit organizations.


Improved recycling and composting practices at SCP

SCP Redmond Hotel
Pretty SCP Redmond hotel lounge with sofas and fireplace

SCP Redmond Hotel will add bins and composters with effective signage to increase recycling and composting rates.


Green Hygiene at COCC

Central Oregon Community College
Interior of residence hall with couches and glass exterior

Green Hygiene will provide students at COCC with zero waste laundry detergent, toothpaste and menstruation product options to reduce waste.


Rescuing More Produce!

High Desert Food and Farm Alliance
A portable cooler full of fresh produce at an outdoor booth with three people around it

HDFFA will expand their Grow & Give program with insulated coolers and offer produce donation locations at community gardens, gleans, and farmers markets to increase food donations by 3,000 lbs in 2023.


Bend Council on Aging – Congregate Dining Dishware

Council on Aging
Three older people laughing sitting in a dining hall

Council on Aging will replace breakable dishware with new durable dishware, with the goal of utilizing dishware that lasts more than six months.


Reusables for Bend-La Pine Schools’ Events

Bend-La Pine Schools
Students and adults at an event in a school cafeteria

Bend-La Pine Schools will implement reusable dishware kits in each school to be used for all special events reducing single-use waste.


LCA Community Reusable Dishware

Latino Community Association
Youth and adults sitting at tables with green reusable plates in a community room

Latino Community Association used the Community Innovation Fund in 2022 to purchase reusable food and drinkware for their Community Room. The space gets rented at least 3x a week for events where food and drink is served and saves about 100-200 items of related single-use waste for each event.


Too Good to be Trub

Fields Farm and Spider City Brewing
5-gallon buckets next to a mound of trube at Fields Farm

Fields Farm teamed up with Spider City Brewing to divert the brewery’s trub, using it as compost or mulch.


RAD Plarn Plant Pots!

Reuse All Detritus LLC
A plant outside in a large pot made from plastic bags.

RAD (Reduce All Detritus) purchased a large spinning wheel and other tools and supplies to create large pots from plastic bags and bottles.


A Garden Compost with Worms

A subpod garden compost with herb plants inside a room with books on a shelf behind it

COIC Skills Lab implemented a composting project using a SubPod vermiculture station with worms, diverting 500 pounds of waste each year and reaching and educating 150+ youth and 25+ staff in the process.


SOSS (Super Outdoor Sorting Signage) at COCC

Trash and recycling dumpsters and carts with large metal signage outside COCC's Wickiup residence hall

COCC developed and installed permanent waste sorting signage outside of the Wickiup Residence Hall, and also created portable sorting signage for events around the residence hall.


OSU-Cascades Composts

Outdoor bins, some full of compost or yard waste

OSU-Cascades Sustainability Club purchased composters to convert their yard and food waste to compost.


Desert Sky Montessori’s Recycling Hut

Desert Sky Montessori
A small wooden hut painted with a landscape mural

Desert Sky Montessori built and developed a Recycling Hut, a collection facility made from upcycled materials to collect various materials not accepted in curbside carts.


Locavore’s Bulk Container Program

Central Oregon Locavore
A variety of bulk containers with different nuts and other goods with a Locavore Container Reuse Sign below it

Central Oregon Locavore launched a Container Reuse Program reusing glass jars and plastic containers for bulk purchases, eliminating single-use plastic tubs and diverting approximately 600 plastic containers annually.


Rethink Your Drink

Sunriver Owners Association
Reusable ceramic coffee mug, in front of a Rethink Your Drink sign, next to self-serve coffee airpots

Sunriver Owners Association implemented a “Rethink your Drink” campaign, eliminating all single-use styrofoam coffee cups and offering only re-usable ceramic mugs for coffee, eliminating 18,250 styrofoam cups per year and raising awareness for simple sustainable choices in daily life.