Recycling Victoria Councils Fund – Information bulletin

This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.


My municipality has a small population, and we are dealing with smaller quantities of waste. Are we likely to get funding to improve our waste outcomes if we're competing with larger councils?

We encourage every council and alpine resort management board to apply for funding. Every application will be assessed on its merits. The Stream 1 Feasibility grant is designed for applicants who may not have had the opportunity to undertake pre-work to determine the viability of an idea. The merit assessment includes considerations of the diversity of applications, including geographical spread, municipality size and project type. Collaborative partnerships between councils or alpine resort management boards in either Stream 1 Feasibility or Stream 2 Implementation may assist in increasing the impact of a project.

If we are contracting a third party or consultant to undertake the feasibility study, how does the in-kind contribution work?

You can claim in-kind expenses as 100% of your co-contribution for Stream 1 Feasibility projects. In-kind could include activities related to project delivery such as council staff time, staff meetings, room hire, or communications and engagement activity. If the in-kind contribution cannot match the grant funding request, then you would need to contribute cash to make up the difference so a 1:1 split is achieved.


Can Sustainability Victoria provide feedback on my proposed project before I submit my application?

No, this being a competitive process, we are unable to review drafts or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility and merit criteria, as outlined in the program guidelines.

Can we use this funding to add a circular economy element to an existing project?

Yes, the funding may be used to add a circular economy element to an existing project. However, the funding must not be allocated towards activities that have already commenced or are completed.

Which waste materials should we focus on for the grant?

Priority materials in the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy are glass, paper/cardboard, organics, textiles, e-waste, plastics and tyres. However, the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund is designed to provide tailored solutions to a council area’s unique circumstances, so other non-priority materials may be considered for funding.

Do project partners have to be in the same regional area for collaborative partnership applications?

Collaborative partnership applications can be made up of any groups of councils or alpine resort management board from across the state. For example, neighbouring councils or alpine resort management boards could purchase infrastructure that is shared between them. Or, if a metropolitan council requires a lot of space for their project, they could partner with a regional council to undertake the project in the regional council area.

Is a waste education project eligible?

A community education and engagement proposal may be eligible, provided the project can accurately demonstrate its impact on avoiding material becoming waste or materials reused, repaired, repurposed or recycled. This would mean being able to refer to baseline measurements before and after the project (using tonnes or cubic metres) to prove and measure its impact. Education and engagement proposals are encouraged to incorporate evidence-based, best practice approaches.

Is a project addressing littering and illegal dumping eligible?

No. The focus of the program is on waste avoidance and the repair, reuse, repurpose and recycling of materials so they do not enter the waste stream or end up as litter.

Can funding cover the cost of leasing land or premises for the purposes of my project?  

No. Please see 'What will be funded' and 'What will not be funded' in the guidelines


Is the application form available in PDF?

Yes. Please visit the SmartyGrants webpage.

You will find a link under the title page ‘Download preview form.’ You can access the application form, without creating a SmartyGrants account. All applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants.

Can an external organisation submit on behalf of a council or alpine resort management board?

No, applications must be submitted by either a local government authority or an alpine resort management board.

How many projects can one council partner on?

There is a limit of two applications per lead applicant (individual or leading a collaborative partnership) per year. Councils can also be a project partner on additional applications where they are not the lead applicant.

Can council and alpine resort management boards apply for a feasibility grant and then two successive implementation grants?

Yes, it is possible to apply for two subsequent implementation grants for the same project if there is sufficient justification for doing so, including the expansion of benefits of the project. This would mean you could apply for a feasibility grant in year one of the program, an implementation grant in year two and a second implementation grant in year four.

Can councils and alpine resort management boards be awarded a feasibility grant and an implementation grant in the one grant round?

You could receive two grants in the one grant round, however these must be for different projects. If the feasibility grant is to form the basis of the implementation project, the implementation application would need to be submitted in later rounds, once the feasibility study has been completed. Each implementation grant application requires evidence of the feasibility of the proposed project.

When will funding applications be assessed?

Applications will be assessed against the weighted/merit criteria. The time between receipt, assessment and decision will be subject to a variety of factors including the number and quality of applications received. Applicants will be updated about the status of their application as soon as possible.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Sustainability Victoria will provide applicants with updates about the progress of their applications as much as possible but is unable to provide a definite approval/ announcement date. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding on this and will endeavour to advise you if we experience any unforeseen delays.

Can we apply for other Sustainability Victoria grants for the same project?

Applicants cannot be awarded funding for the same project more than once in more than one of Sustainability Victoria’s funding programs. Each funding program has different objectives, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria and any application should be specific to the funding program applied for.

If your project fits the criteria and meets the objectives for more than one Sustainability Victoria funding program then you can apply, but you will not be awarded funding from more than one program for the same project.


How does this program fit with future kerbside reform and transition?

Kerbside reform and transition programs will assist local councils and Alpine Resort Management Boards to roll out new services to residents within their municipality. As part of kerbside reform, funding will be provided towards the costs associated with implementing/access to the new four-bin system.

The Recycling Victoria Councils Fund is targeted towards circular economy initiatives which work to divert waste from landfill, stimulate the reuse, repair, repurpose and recycle industries and increase circular economy activity and employment.