zeller foundThe Zeller Foundation and Recycle Montana teamed up to establish a grant program that awards funding for the implementation of waste reduction and composting programs in public and private K-12 schools.  We are pleased to announce the availability of these grants in 2024 for projects implemented during the 2024-2025 school year. The maximum per award, $500, will be awarded to four schools that submit the best applications as decided by the Recycle Montana Board of Directors.  Deadline for submission is September 15, 2024. Pictures of the project are requested to be sent to before December 15th, 2024.

The grant application will open in April 2024.

The 2023 winners are:

LaMotte School- Bozeman

Through the partnership with Happy Trashcan Curbside Composting, students will learn about waste reduction and how they can contribute by composting their school lunch scraps and snack leftovers. Keeping this waste out of landfills is essential to the environment and also in minimizing issues with local bears whose habitat is shared by the school’s location on Bear Creek. Students will also use the fertilized soil that will be created using their food scraps to fertilize their school garden when planting in the spring of 2024.


Capital High School- Helena

They plan to increase composting at Capital High School to a weekly service, help one elementary school launch a composting program, and use compostable tableware in special events to investigate the feasibility of the use and collection of the tableware. They hope to inspire students at Kessler Elementary to continue composting and fund their program through student fundraising in the future. Large schools have difficulty dealing with a location for composting, longevity of projects based on the changeover of students and staff) and handling the amount of waste generated in multiple locations. Because of this, they will partner with a commercial facility that composts to increases sustainability.


Hellgate Elementary School District- Missoula

Their desire is to establish a magazine, paper and cardboard recycling/compost program to reduce these wastes by 60%. Ten students and one teacher will be responsible as the Recycling Team to weigh the product once weekly to meet the district goal to reduce waste. They plan to conduct educational sessions and create competitions between grade levels. The funding will be used to purchase bins appropriate for their use.