October 2019 — We Have a Sponsor

This is the second Plastic Up-Cycling newsletter. If you’re receiving this, you’re at the forefront of what will become a national effort to convert discarded plastic into useful durable products.

We Have a Sponsor

Just a couple of days before our first big deadline for a grant, we found a nonprofit sponsor. If you remember from last month, our work on Plastic Up-Cycling was originally done as an exploratory effort under the auspices of the Newport, Oregon, Chapter of Surfrider Foundation. However, our projects cannot be classified as any of that  organization’s single-use plastic source-reduction programs such as Ban the Bag or Ditch the Straw. Instead, our projects address already existing and future single- and multi-use plastic waste (8.3 billion tons of it exists now in the ocean along with untold amounts in landfills and throughout the environment).

Our sponsor is Recycling Advocates. Plastic Up-Cycling is now a Recycling Advocates program. Plastic Up-Cycling Co-Leads  Scott Rosin and Katharine Valentino are now members of Recycling Advocates. Scott is a board member. 

Recycling Advocates is Oregon’s oldest grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle — and now, to up-cycle, too. This organization has the expertise, the reputation and the 501(c)(3) status we need to move forward with our projects. 

More information about Recycling Advocates

We’re Writing Grant Requests

As my mother used to say about any complex and unfamiliar task, “It’s like pulling eye teeth.”

entities eligible focus area points reimbursable expenses CBOs matching funds terms and conditions invoice preparation overviews milestones goals success measures stakeholders project we continuity budgets capital outlay work plans financial viability references aargh!

We need money for the Plastic Roads project to pay for required independent laboratory testing and the Plastic Roads materials to be tested. Testing by an independent laboratory — and successful test results — are required by The Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT is responsible for road-building standards, in this case specifically for the standards for including recycled materials in Oregon roads.

Testing is expensive. One might argue it is unnecessary since so much testing has already been done worldwide. In Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Indonesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, testing has been successful and roads, driveways and carparks have been or are being built with Plastic Roads. But Oregon wants to make sure, and who can blame the people responsible for that.

One grant request is complete, and it’s a big one. It is for the 2019 Department of Environmental Quality Materials Management Grant. The DEQ grant this year will give a total of $600,000 to as many nonprofits as satisfy its stringent requirements. Fulfilling those requirements was a LOT of work for someone — me, Katharine — who has so little experience lately with grant writing. But I do want to assure everyone that my eye teeth are still right where they belong.

While we wait to find out if the Plastic Roads project will be funded by the DEQ, we will continue to research other grant possibilities for Plastic Roads, Plastic-to-Fuel and Precious Plastic. (To find out about these projects, you can go to https://plasticupcycling.org.  

If you who are reading this know of additional grants we might apply for, please let us know. Small grants can help us initiate Precious Plastic and publicize Plastic Roads and Plastic-to-Fuel. Small grants can also be used as “matching funds” when we apply for larger grants. Large grants can pay for the testing and the plastic mixes to be tested for use in Plastic Roads. Please reply to this email to send your suggestions.