The fund supports Victorian local governments (councils) to implement projects that will focus on: reducing the volume of waste going to landfill; increasing the volume of materials reused, repaired, repurposed or recycled; boosting local circular economy activity and jobs.
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$1:$5; at least 50% of the Co-contribution must be in cash.
The Circular Economy Councils Fund supports Victorian local governments (Councils) to implement projects that will focus on: reducing the volume of waste going to landfill; increasing the volume of materials reused, repaired, repurposed or recycled; boosting local circular economy activity and jobs.
For the first 2 funding rounds grants were distributed through 2 streams: Stream 1: Feasibility and Stream 2: Implementation. Round 3 is the final funding round and will not be divided into 2 funding streams. All applications will be via the one combined funding round.
This grant is funded through the government’s Circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy.
The following are the guidelines for Round 3 applications.
Projects must align with one or more of the following objectives:
Over the 4-year program, aggregating all funded projects, we expect to see:
Round 3 will provide grants between $30,000 - $500,000 for either individual councils (including Alpine Resorts managed by Alpine Resort Victoria) or collaborative partnerships of councils.
All applications will require evidence of project feasibility or demonstrate the worth of additional interrogation of previous feasibility work. This preceding work may have been conducted through:
Applicants are required to make a co-contribution to all projects. This co-contribution can include up to 50% in-kind. Applicants must contribute a minimum $1 for every $5 from Sustainability Victoria (SV) towards the project.
At least 50% of the co-contribution must be in cash. For example:
Eligible applicants are Victorian local governments (Councils) and the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board.
A Council or the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board can apply individually or as a Lead Applicant in a Collaborative Partnership application. They can also be listed as a Project Partner in a Collaborative Partnership (see section 9: Definitions).
Lead Applicants are encouraged to establish collaborative relationships with other Councils or the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board to support project delivery and maximise the project’s impact. Lead Applicants will need to clarify the nature of their relationships with other organisations and demonstrate their commitment to the project.
Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. Although you can apply for more than one grant for a project, you can only receive one grant per project. If you’ve already applied for a Sustainability Victoria grant and now find this grant is more relevant or suitable, you can withdraw your prior application by emailing us. Refer also to section 2.3 below on other specific grant funding programs.
Eligible project types are those that:
Funding will support projects that:
Read about the projects that were awarded funding in Rounds 1 and 2.
The following costs are eligible for funding:
Funding will not be provided for projects that
Note: project equipment may be ordered or purchased following receipt of notification of grant approval, and prior to signing a Funding Agreement with SV to accommodate shipping and delivery time and prevent delays in completing the project at the Applicant’s own risk.
The following costs are ineligible for funding:
The assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to the criteria below.
Demonstrate your project will meet the outcomes of the fund:
Applicants (and Project Partners/ Delivery Partners where applicable) must demonstrate ability to deliver the project:
Describe why the project is needed:
Sustainability Victoria may overlay rankings to achieve a mix of projects that represent:
A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the project. This assessment will include the Applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners and/or Delivery Partners (see Section 9: Program definitions).
Applicants (and their Related Entities and, if applicable, their Project Partners and/or Delivery Partners) must:
Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to SV’s consideration of:
SV may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners and/or Delivery Partners involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Project Partners and/or Delivery Partners agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at SV’s request.
SV reserves the right not to award funding to applicants where the due diligence risk (including that of Project Partners and Delivery Partners) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.
Successful applicants approved for funding must do the following:
Dates may change.
There is no date for the announcement of application outcomes. We will provide applicants with updates as much as possible and when necessary.
Applications open: 15 February 2023
Applications close: 11:59 pm 31 March 2023
Information session: 28 February 2023 – Round 3 guidelines
Information session: 8 March 2023 – Reuse (Tip) Shops
Notification of outcome: July 2023
Funding agreements established: July 2023 – August 2023
Project completed by: 30 June 2024.
The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.
Tips for using SmartyGrants
We hosted short online information sessions for Round 3 Circular Economy Councils Fund grant applications.
Date: Tuesday 28 February 2023
Time: 10:30 to 11:30 am
Join your fellow Victorian Council colleagues to hear about council reuse (tip) shops, as speakers share their recent case studies and key learnings. Connect with others doing similar work, hear about new ideas and get inspired. Speakers will be announced soon.
Date: Wednesday 8 March 2023
Time: 11 am to 12:30 pm
Answers to questions we received at our information sessions and via phone and email are published on our Information bulletin.
We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in these grant guidelines.
We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
In the subject line, use the grant name Circular Economy Councils Fund.
Recycling Victoria represents the Victorian Government’s action plan to reform our waste and recycling system over the next decade. Beyond recycling, this shift will ultimately transform Victoria’s economy.
This program sits under Goal 2 of the Recycling Victoria policy – ‘Use products for more value’. Under this goal, the Victorian government has committed to reducing total waste generation by 15 percent per capita between 2020 and 2030.
Our vision for Victoria is a Circular Economy where products are made to last and waste is avoided. A Circular Economy fosters innovation and invigorates existing businesses and creates new ones, delivering more jobs and growth for local, regional, state and global economies.
The listed applicant for the purposes of an individual application responsible for all details in the submission of an application. The Applicant will be responsible for the contractual obligations of the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.
A Circular Economy is where waste is minimised and products and materials are kept circulating at their greatest value for as long as possible.
Four outcomes of a Circular Economy are:
The applicant’s required financial or in-kind contribution to the total project income.
For Round 3, the co-contribution must be at least $1 from the council applicant, for every $5 of grant applied for.
A relationship established between a Lead Applicant and Project Partner for the purposes of meeting common project objectives and outcomes.
Collaborative Partnerships will need to be demonstrated by a formal agreement between the partners that outlines the governance, financial and intellectual property arrangements and roles and responsibilities of each party. A formal agreement must either be in place or be finalised before commencement of the project.
Organisation/s engaged by an Applicant/Lead Applicant to assist in the delivery of the project; including but not limited to product or equipment suppliers, consultants and contractors.
Actual new full-time positions created by your business. This can include training or upskilling of employees who would otherwise be made redundant through the implementation of your project.
The Circular Economy Councils Fund seeks to improve job opportunities for marginal groups, including jobseeker roles, indigenous, CALD and other diverse roles.
Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breach
An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.
Environmental and Safety Laws
Environmental and Safety Laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 1970 or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.
Financial Co-contributions may include:
Round 3 Implementation grants require at least 50% of the Co-contribution to be financial (ie cash), and up to 50% In Kind
Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE)
The hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis.
The calculation is used to convert the hours worked by several part-time employees into the hours worked by full-time employees. For example, you have three employees working the following – 40, 40 and 20 hours per week, giving you 100 hours per week in total.
Assuming full-time hours are 40 hours per week, your full-time equivalent calculation is 100 hours divided by 40 hours which equals 2.5 FTE.
Jobs created by other businesses that come into existence due to the economic growth of your business.
An In-kind Contribution is a contribution of a good or a service other than money.
In-kind Contributions may include, but is not limited to:
The following activities cannot be considered In-kind Contributions:
Stream 3 grants allow up to 50% of the applicant’s Co-contribution to be in-kind.
The listed applicant for the purposes of a Collaborative Partnership. The Lead Applicant will be responsible for all details in the submission of an application and the contractual obligations of the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.
The Lead Applicant is also responsible for managing the project outcomes and deliverables of the Collaborative Partnership.
Organisation/s in a Collaborative Partnership with a Lead Applicant that have a critical role in the project and a formal commitment to delivering the support required to ensure the project’s success.
This role might include the provision of venues, equipment, access to land, access to community networks or digital platforms, specialist expertise, strategic partnerships, dissemination of information or promotion of events or services
The role of Project Partners will need to be demonstrated by a formal agreement between relevant parties and will outline the roles and responsibilities of each party, such as governance, financial or intellectual property arrangements. A formal agreement must either be in place or be finalised before commencement of the project.
Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the Applicant or a Related Entity.
Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.