£220,000 available for projects which help to reduce, reuse, or recycle household waste, and generate wider social benefits for their communities in Greater Manchester

Community, voluntary and faith groups, schools, colleges, universities, charities and other non-profit organisations encouraged to apply for the funding for their innovative projects

The Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund is open for applications from 8 April.

Groups passionate about reducing waste and increasing recycling across Greater Manchester can now apply for a slice of Recycle for Greater Manchester’s £220,000 Community funding pot for their innovative projects.

The fund, now in its fourth year, has already supported 66 projects which have brought fresh ideas on how to tackle traditional waste challenges from repairing electronics to reducing food waste. Past projects have included community grocers on wheels to redistribute potential food waste, repair cafes helping people to repair their old items, initiatives that provide used children’s items to families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and much more.

Two different award categories for the fund are available:

£180,000 will be divided between projects that benefit individual Greater Manchester boroughs, with a maximum funding of £10,000 per project.

£40,000 of funding will be open to projects that span two or more boroughs, or Greater Manchester as a whole, with a maximum funding of £20,000 per project.

Applications are open from noon on Monday 8 April 2024 to noon on Friday 31 May 2024.

Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “The community fund helps to empower Greater Manchester communities to take action and make real change. We have already been able to support so many amazing projects which are helping to repair items, reduce, recycle and reuse waste across Greater Manchester.

“Collectively, these projects really do make a difference to improving our communities, reducing our carbon emissions and overall environmental impact. I would encourage all eligible groups who are considering or even currently working on new and exciting projects to apply for the fund.”

Electronic waste is the fastest growing source of waste in the UK, with millions of wasted electrical items in homes across the UK. One project, run by Community Computers, received £10,000 from the last round of funding in 2023, powering them to meet the challenges of e-waste and digital inclusion head-on.

Chris Bennett, Project Manager at Community Computers (Renewal North West) said:

“Our work at Community Computers is dedicated to tackling digital exclusion through the reuse of tech devices across Greater Manchester. The support from Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund has allowed us to really engage, educate and inform within our communities on the reuse of unwanted devices, so that we can repair, refurbish and reuse laptops, desktops, smart phones and tablets.

“Within the last six months alone, we’ve received over 3,000 devices. Not only is this preventing them from going to waste but it is also allowing us to support our community with low-cost and free tech to help bridge the digital divide.”

The Community Fund is a joint initiative between Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK. The fund is one of 54 social value commitments SUEZ has made to support Greater Manchester’s move towards a more circular economy.

The fund is supported by the sales of pre-loved household items that have been donated at the Household Waste Recycling Centres, cleaned and repaired and sold at three Renew shops, eBay shop, pop-up shops and online store. To date, the shops have sold over 232,000 items that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Daniel Carolan, Contract Director for SUEZ in Greater Manchester, said: “At SUEZ, we aim to make sure that all our work benefits people and the planet.

“The Renew project in Greater Manchester is a perfect example of this, saving items that would have previously gone to waste and benefiting local people at the same time.

“Over the last three years money raised by Renew has supported 66 projects across Greater Manchester and I’m excited to see what applications we receive this year.”

R4GM will be hosting webinars where they will be talking through the criteria for the Community Fund, the application process, key dates, and answering any questions groups may have on 16 April and 8 May.

To find out more about the workshops, Community Fund or to apply online for the fund, please visit Recycle for Greater Manchester and Greater Manchester Environment Fund website.