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Expands grant opportunities for the prevention, reuse or recovery of solid waste
Portland, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has selected recipients for five micro grant projects aimed at workforce development in the reuse and repair industries. Each grantee is receiving up to $10,000 that can be used to purchase equipment and train employees to support long-term business expansion.
This is the first year for the Reuse and Repair Workforce Development micro grants. A total of $50,000 in micro grants was available.

Grant recipient details:

• The Renewal Workshop in Cascade Locks will train two sewing technicians and purchase new equipment to expand their unique model of repairing small defects in returned clothing that would have otherwise been discarded. This process brings these items back into the economy for use.
• Garten Services in Salem will recruit and train two new employees to sort electronics for reuse. This will range from harvesting, testing and packaging small parts for resale, to testing computers, printers and monitors, to assessing the cost/benefit ratio of refurbishment of unique items. These new employees will be adults with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities.
• JD's Shoe Repair in Portland will train one cobbler, for employment in the business or to start their own small business. This new worker will be trained in repair of shoes, bags, sports equipment and other items. This company has steady demand and is looking to grow, and grant funding will assist to cover in-house training costs.
• The Toolbox Project in Eugene will hire an operations manager and purchase equipment to facilitate member growth, further outreach, and increase the financial stability of the organization. This will allow more people to use this community library of tools, avoiding unnecessary new purchases.
• Salvage Works in North Portland will train a new full-time employee to assist customers with purchasing reclaimed wood. This wood is sourced from barns, warehouses, granaries and deconstructed homes across the Pacific Northwest, and is given another useful life.

The purpose of this funding is reduce the environmental impacts of material production and disposal through growing reuse and repair enterprises. The selected projects focus on making reuse and repair options more accessible, as well as normalizing the concept of repairing goods, as opposed to disposing of them. Both small businesses and non-profits were eligible for funding under the micro grants.

Grant opportunities were announced in July along with other grant funding opportunities that support Oregon's 2050 Vision for Materials Management, such as waste prevention and recycling projects and planning. Learn more about Vision 2050 here:

For more information on the award recipients, as well as the Materials Management grants program, click here:

Simon Love, Materials Management, DEQ, 503-229-6434,
Matthew Van Sickle, Public Affairs, DEQ, 503-229-6044,


Environment & Energy