Community Innovation Fund

The 2024 Community Innovation Fund is open!

Winter application due date: March 1st, 2024

Do you have an idea for reducing waste in your neighborhood, workplace, school, your favorite park or restaurant, or other community space, but aren’t sure how to get started? Apply for the Rethink Waste Community Innovation Fund!

The Environmental Center’s Rethink Waste Project is accepting applications for the 2024 Community Innovation Fund (CIF)! This program provides up to $5,000 per awarded project to implement waste reduction, reuse, recycle, and compost projects throughout Deschutes County. The Rethink Waste Project will provide a total of $54,500 in awards and application, implementation, and evaluation support in 2024. Depending on project budget requirements, 12 to 20 projects will be funded.

Projects must have measurable results - for example, the amount of waste reduced, the increase in waste recycled, community members reached, the amount of waste composted, etc. Project work should support equity and accessibility in our communities. Learn more about The Environmental Center's commitment to equity here.

Applicants may utilize project funds for materials, infrastructure, or time. Work should plan for continued success beyond this funding period.

If you have any questions about the suitability of your project idea, or about the application, please reach out to Lindsey Hardy at

Application Details

View Projects

A plant outside in a large pot made from plastic bags.

RAD Plarn Plant Pots!

RAD (Reduce All Detritus) purchased a large spinning wheel and other tools and supplies to...
A tray of food featuring chips and salsa and mexican food in a ceramic reusable bowl

Eat-in with Reusables at Taco Del Mar

Taco Del Mar in Bend and Remond replaced single-use disposable foodware and utensils with reusables...
Three older people laughing sitting in a dining hall

Bend Council on Aging – Congregate Dining Dishware

Council on Aging will replace breakable dishware with new durable dishware in the Bend Council...

Check out what Central Oregon Community College accomplished through the Community Innovation Fund in 2019-2020!

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Thank You to Our Partners, Who Make the CIF Possible