The city of Delaware will not apply for a grant on behalf of a company to develop the market infrastructure for recycling food waste.
Delaware City Council allowed the city manager in January to sponsor Innovative Organics’ grant application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for up to $250,000.
The application deadline was Friday, Feb. 3.
“We have informed the applicant that the city of Delaware will not be serving as a public sponsor this year for the EPA market development grant,” said Lee Yoakum, the city spokesman, in an email. “While the plan to introduce food waste recycling in Delaware is an excellent and ambitious project, the city would like to see Innovative Organics established in the region before moving forward.”
Innovative Organics was started by Ray Leard, Brock Reinhard and George Hunyadi in 2016. The company offers businesses and consumers throughout the central Ohio region a wide variety of services to reduce waste.
The Westerville-based company would have matched 100 percent of the awarded funds at no cost to the city. Innovative Organics would use the funds to implement curbside food waste collection service with the purchase of processing equipment and 2,000 seven-gallon buckets for curbside collection along with recycling equipment and signs to be used for large outdoor zero-waste events.
“We have offered to help Mr. Leard get established at the Delaware Farmer’s Market and to identify potential “zero-waste” events to target in Delaware. Furthermore, should he be interested, we are happy to discuss with Mr. Leard applying for the grant in 2018,” Yoakum said.
Although Council gave the OK, City Manager Tom Homan said at the time he had reservations about the proposal.
“I want to understand this better,” he said. “… If I’m not comfortable with it, I won’t move ahead with it.”
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.