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RecycleCT Announces New Grant Honoring Lee Sawyer

Late DEEP Chief of Staff Was Instrumental in Creation of Recycle CT Foundation; Proposals Due June 30


The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the RecycleCT Foundation are pleased to announce a new grant opportunity, the Lee Sawyer Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant, which supports waste reduction and reuse in addition to recycling and composting efforts.

The grant program is named in memory of former DEEP Chief of Staff Lee Sawyer, who died unexpectedly on Oct. 31, 2020. Lee was incredibly dedicated to the mission of DEEP, and was instrumental in the creation of the RecycleCT Foundation.

The RecycleCT Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the importance of managing materials more sustainably through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting that encourage people, government entities, businesses, schools and organizations to adopt these practices as part of their everyday lives or operations. RecycleCT provides statewide promotion of recycling; creates educational materials available for printing that can be co-branded by municipalities, haulers and others; conducts research, including a recent recycling economic information study; and offers grant programs.

“Improving Connecticut’s waste management systems and solving the state’s waste crisis was hugely important to Lee, both personally and professionally,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This new grant program is a fitting way to honor his memory, and a great way to continue the critical work he was so involved in. Connecticut’s waste system is at a crucial juncture, and through the continued work of initiatives such as the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management and this grant program, we’ll start to realize the modern waste system we desperately need in our state.”

“We’re pleased we can offer RecycleCT’s new grant program, which emphasizes the importance of waste reduction and reuse equally to recycling and composting programs, at a time when there is such a great need,” said Suzie Huminski, Sustainability Coordinator at Southern Connecticut State University and a RecycleCT Board member. “I can’t think of a better way to honor Lee Sawyer.”

Nonprofit organizations and municipalities are eligible to respond to this competitive Request for Proposals requesting funds from $1,000-$15,000. Applicants can pursue funds in two categories, the first category for waste reduction or reuse projects; or the second for recycling or composting projects. Proposals for the Lee Sawyer Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant are due June 30, 2021.

Interested applicants can find the Lee Sawyer Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant RFP and link to the online Lee Sawyer CWRR Grant Application on RecycleCT’s webpage A webinar will be scheduled in late May/early June to review the grant, help applicants understand the different categories, and how to submit their project budgets.

Anyone is invited to make contributions to support RecycleCT generally, or to support the Lee Sawyer Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant. Those interested in contributing may do so on



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