Community Innovation Fund (CIF) Projects

Since it's inception in 2020, the Rethink Waste Project's Community Innovation Fund has awarded more than $33K to 18+ projects that reduce waste in Deschutes County.

Thanks to support from our partners – Deschutes County Solid Waste, Visit Central Oregon, and City of Bend – CIF can now fund up to $5K per project with multiple award rounds each year. Currently accepting applications through October 1st for the final round for 2023. Learn more and apply here!

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.

  • All
  • $2K+
  • $500-$2K
  • Under $500
  • Food
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  • Underway

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.


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.


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.


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.


Eat-in with Reusables at Taco Del Mar

Taco Del Mar: Bend and Redmond
A tray of food featuring chips and salsa and mexican food in a ceramic reusable bowl

Taco Del Mar in Bend and Remond replaced single-use disposable foodware and utensils with reusables for all eat-in diners.


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.


Reusable Bag Program for Meals on Wheels

Council on Aging of Central Oregon
reusable vinyl tote bag with council on aging of central oregon logo

Council on Aging of Central Oregon implemented reusable bags for their Meals on Wheels community-based food delivery program for aging adults, saving up to 525 pounds of plastic bag waste per month!


COCC Recycling Education Program

Central Oregon Community College
recycling sorting station in a COCC campus building

COCC designed and installed signage across campus to reduce recycling contamination and increase diversion of recyclables from the landfill, with a pilot of new recycling stations in key areas of campus, followed by a roll-out to other areas of campus.


Soul, Community, Planet, Compost

SCP (Soul, Community, Planet) Hotel
A variety of compost and food waste bins

SCP (Soul, Community, Planet) Hotel in Redmond implemented an on-site composting program.