The answers to the questions asked in the previous two sections of this self evaluation are essential to help you determine how to best spend your scarce program resources. For example, if curbside collection is widely available in your jurisdiction, but appears to be underutilized, is it because the DIYers are not aware of its availability, or is it because curbside collection is not available where most of the DIYers live? You need to find this out before you can determine how best to use your resources.
- Which program components to emphasize? (What’s a good budget allocation mix?)
- We have a limited budget–what else can we do?
Which program components to emphasize? (What’s a good budget allocation mix?)
Each community is unique, therefore, there is no single “best” budget allocation that fits all programs. When planning which program activities to fund, keep in mind the three basic foundations of oil recycling: (1) collection opportunities, (2) public awareness (publicity and education), and (3) local care and commitment to the program.
Clearly, a balance must be established between collection and public awareness; because it is ineffective to establish collection centers that go unused due to lack of awareness, just as it does not make sense to create awareness for recycling without establishing opportunities to recycle.
In the past, CIWMB has allowed local programs to spend as much of their budgets on publicity and education as they wanted, without necessarily establishing a formal collection center assistance or oversight program. CIWMB recommends that local programs also support collection opportunities by working closely with collection centers to educate staff about the oil recycling program, and to establish oil filter collection (if the center does not currently accept filters from the public).
For reference, the following chart shows how all local governments spent their grant dollars between fiscal years 1997 and 2003.
Budget Expenditures: Used Oil Block Grantees (FY 1997-2003)
Pie chart showing percentages of budget spent on each item.
Publicity & Education: 42%
Collection Facilities: 16%
Residential Collection: 10%
Temporary Events: 4%
The budget category “collection facilities” include all certified collection centers; household hazardous waste collection facilities; and antifreeze, batteries, oil and paint facilities (ABOP). Residential collection includes curbside and door-to-door. “Temp” events include temporary one or two-day events and mobile collection programs.
We have a limited budget–what else can we do?
Consider working closely with your collection centers to make them active partners in oil and filter collection efforts. The initial time spent can generate quite a few good results. Also consider partnering with a local nonprofit group that may be able to do some of the work at a lower rate than a local government agency. Avoid big-ticket P&E efforts such as cable TV spots (unless you are certain they are cost-effective). Competitive grants from CIWMB are available–see if you can persuade a subcontractor who will do some of the grant work to write the bulk of the grant at risk. Consider regionalizing P&E efforts.
Lastly, if the grant activities are too overwhelming to conduct on your limited grant funds, strongly consider becoming a regional participant with your county or neighboring cities.