Recycling Equipment Grants

The Nebraska Recycling Council has grant funds of up to $20,000 for the purchase of recycling equipment. Funding for these grants is provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The Trust is funded by proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery and has awarded more than $265 million to over 2,000 natural resource projects in Nebraska since 1993.

Who Can Apply

Any Nebraska organization including schools, municipalities and other government entities, nonprofit organizations and recycling companies are eligible.  Examples of recycling companies are those that collect, process and/or ship recycling; waste haulers with recycling routes, or starting or expanding recycling or composting services.

Before Applying

  • Read the “Grant Guidelines” and the information needed to complete the grant application below.
  • Contact the Nebraska Recycling Council to first discuss your plans, Allison Majerus, [email protected]


Requirements and Limitations

  • Up to $20,000 in equipment can be funded over a two-year period.
  • NRC reserves the right to limit simultaneous or overlapping grant requests from an organization’s subsidiaries, divisions, branches, etc.
  • Equipment purchased before grant approval is not eligible for funding.
  • Providing false or misleading information will disqualify the application.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years in business to be eligible.
  • Equipment purchased with these funds must have Nebraska Environmental Trust labels on them and only 25 will be provided by the Trust.  If your equipment purchase is more than 25 pieces please include additional labels in your application.
  • NRC recommends that all containers have the Recycle Across America labels on them.
  • If you are requesting containers they must be current standardized colors (blue=recycling, green=composting, black=trash).
  • All carts and recycling containers must be stamped with the NET logo.

Evaluation Process

A Grants Committee will review all applications received by the 15th of each month.  More information may be requested of the applicant during the review, including one or two years of financial statements. Once approved by the Committee, a request for approval is sent to the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Upon their approval, the applicant will be notified and required to submit to NRC all completed grant reporting forms, agreements and contracts before being reimbursed for the purchase. (See grant reporting forms below.)

Applications will be evaluated on the following merits:

  • provides more public benefit than organizational or corporate gain;
  • includes clear environmental benefits;
  • makes a real contribution to recycling collection or processing;
  • is technically and financially feasible;
  • has been thoroughly researched and planned;
  • will be installed and utilized promptly after funds are received.

Grant applications are scored on a points system, you can find a sample of the matrix here: Application Scoring Matrix

Examples of Equipment Eligible for Grant Funds

  • Forklifts, skid loaders, balers, recycling trailers, recycling carts, indoor and outdoor recycling bins, cargo trailers, semi-trailers, lift-gates, can crushers, dumpsters, trucks, portable loading ramps, approved recycling labels, compost screeners, and more.
  • A fabric structure (rated highly to withstand straight-winds and hail) is fundable if additional storage is needed for recyclables.
  • Equipment may be new, used, or in need of refurbishing.  In some cases, applicant’s existing equipment can be refurbished or rebuilt with grant funds.

Find a list of equipment and container sellers on our Equipment Vendors page.

Cash Match Requirement

A cash match is required from all grantees. In general, these minimum match amounts are required:

  • 20% Nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies
  • 20% Communities with populations of 5,000 or under
  • 25% Communities with populations of 5,000 to 10,000
  • 30% Communities with populations of 10,000 and above
  • 50% For-profit businesses

In-kind Contributions

In-kind contributions are encouraged and will result in more points in the application review; however, “using” or “maintaining” the equipment is not a suitable in-kind contribution. It must be related to the purchase of the equipment.

Instructions for Completing Grant Forms & Application

The deadline for submission of grant applications is the 15th of each month. Email your completed application and additional documentation to Program Director Allison Majerus [email protected] 

The application and forms are writable PDFs. Download the files, and open with Adobe Acrobat Reader (free software available from to complete. Save the files under a new name on your desktop. Note: do not open the files as a new tab/window and work in them on an internet browser; the forms do not save new information entered this way. Typed applications are highly preferred and digital signatures are acceptable.

Other documents to submit with your completed application:

  • Bids on equipment are required from two different sellers/vendors IF equipment is valued at $5000 or more. If equipment is valued at less than $5000 please provide one vendor bid. Attach bids to the application email in pdf format.
  • Two or more letters of support from partnering entities/communities is strongly encouraged but not required. Providing letters of support will result in a higher score during the evaluation process.

(Application updated December 16, 2022)


  • Grant recipients are required to use the grant equipment for recycling or composting.
  • Equipment must not be sold, leased, traded-in, rented or given to another party without permission from Nebraska Environmental Trust.
  • Grant recipients are required to provide 24 months of recycling data (pounds recycled) after obtaining the grant equipment, showing the recycling impact the equipment has made in the grant recipient’s community or business.
  • Grant recipients that receive funds for equipment valued at greater than $5,000 are required to maintain insurance for the useful life of the equipment and provide insurance documentation on a yearly basis to NRC.