Community Outreach

Creating community-wide awareness of projects is critical to encouraging the replicability of pollution prevention efforts to achieve wider impact across the state.

NYSP2I provides opportunities to educate businesses, organizations, environmental justice communities, and the public on using sustainability tools and methods to prevent waste, reuse materials, and avoid toxics. Community outreach is a critical means to achieve large-scale impacts.

We structure outreach activities to include the processing of results and lessons learned at the conclusion of every project. We share our learnings and amplify best practices and innovations through webinars, workshops, educational toolkits, events, conferences, and case studies. Throughout our work, we encourage others to replicate successful approaches.

NYSP2I works closely with our partners to design a food sustainability program that is informed by their unique needs, process, and organization. We help our clients to set realistic goals and we provide them with the tools and resources they need to achieve them. Many of our projects begin with an assessment. Each is designed to include any or all of the following focus areas:

  • food processing
  • food profitability
  • energy and water efficiency
  • food by-products and waste-to-energy conversion

Our technical team brings together diverse skillsets and research interests. Our core expertise areas include the following:

  • food waste reduction planning through improved pathway utilization
  • environmental footprint evaluation of process facilities
  • technology validation and effectiveness assessment
  • supply-chain sustainability analysis and enhanced strategy implementation

The Food Waste Reduction and Diversion Reimbursement Program incentivizes businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits that generate large amounts of food waste to implement sustainable food systems. The program does this by offsetting the cost of select technologies and equipment that will reduce or divert that food waste from going to a landfill or being incinerated.

Learn More about the Food waste reduction and diversion reimbursement program

A successful food system sustainability plan is powered by the people who make it happen. If those stakeholders don’t understand its purpose and how they will support it, then cultivating lasting change will be difficult. To help our clients ensure that their plans to reduce waste and be more efficient flourish, we offer educational opportunities through:

  • workshops
  • on-site workforce training
  • published studies, academic reports, and white papers

In addition to field projects, NYSP2I maintains a growing archive of do-it-yourself tools that are designed to make taking the first steps towards food system sustainability simple.

Food-waste estimator tool

Curious about the role of food waste within your organization? The NYSP2I food-waste estimator tool is a smart first step towards understanding its impact.

Organic-resource locator tool

Organic materials make up the largest component of solid waste in the United States. However, this waste stream—which is largely food—holds immense potential as a sustainable resource. Our goal is make it easier for those who produce organic material waste to find the businesses and other entities that are pioneering new uses of organic waste as energy, compost, and animal feed. To do this, we created an organic-resource locator tool as a tool for diverting organic waste away from landfills while promoting economic development and encouraging green technological innovation.

NYSP2I is a partnership between the State of New York and a consortia of universities across the state. Working together, we are funding groundbreaking research into new technologies and approaches to mitigating food waste to discover and grow a sustainable food system that benefits our economy and communities.

Food-waste research focus areas

  • low-volume digesters
  • pure food-waste digestion
  • food-waste pretreatment methods
  • optimizing food-waste disposal pathways

Community Grants Program

The 2024-2025 Community Grants Program is Now Closed

Please check back in early 2025 for information on our next application period.

An annual grants award program

Each year, NYSP2I awards funding to support projects that raise awareness and understanding and lead to the implementation of pollution prevention practices and/or behaviors at the local level with the goal of improving the health, environmental quality, and economic vitality of communities in New York State.

Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.

What kind of projects receive funding?

We give preference to projects that:

  • utilize partnerships and collaborations with other organizations.
  • demonstrate a broad community impact.
  • address populations and communities that are affected by or susceptible to environmental harms and risk such as environmental justice (EJ) communities.
  • are easy to replicate and use by other organizations.
  • demonstrate an ability to obtain funding from additional sources.

Examples of project focus areas:

  • reduction of natural resource consumption
  • reduction of hazardous chemical use
  • food waste reduction
  • pollution prevention in NY State priority areas such as greenhouse gas reductions or waste reduction through adoption of circular economy concepts

Who can apply?

NYSP2I Community Grants are a funding opportunity for community organizations and local government agencies based and operating in New York State.

Community organizations

Community organizations are defined as any nonprofit group based in New York State that conducts the majority of its work within the state. Eligible organizations may include, but are not limited to the following: lawfully incorporated/registered organizations with a focus in environmental, public health, or occupational health protection; academic institutions; neighborhood associations; environmental justice organizations; community development corporations; public benefit corporations; health centers; local unions and labor organizations; and other nonprofits. Community organizations do not need to be 501(c)(3) organizations, but they must submit a W-9 form with their application.

Local government agencies

Local government agencies are defined as offices or departments of a city, town, county, or primary and secondary schools in New York State. These may include, but are not limited to, local environmental agencies, boards of health, departments of public works, local emergency response offices, town commissions, planning and zoning boards, libraries, and schools.

View Past Community Grants

Contact us to learn more: Ambika Walker, apwgis@rit.edu

Featured Awardees

The success stories below showcase New York State organizations that received financial and technical assistance through the NYSP2I Community Grants Program.

Shift2 (formerly the Shore Foundation)

How Shift2 is closing the Digital Divide by keeping laptops out of landfills.

Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition

How a Long Island nonprofit is expanding environmental health literacy by empowering youth.