Circular Economy Councils Fund – Round 3: Information bulletin

Last updated: 21 March 2023
Prior to 1 July 2022, this fund was named the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund.

Answers to questions we received at our information session and via phone and email are published on this page. We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in the Guidelines.

We will update this page as we receive questions.

Information session

An online information session for the Circular Economy Councils Fund – Round 3 was held on 28 February 2023 to outline the guidelines for the grant. On 8 March 2023, Victorian Council colleagues shared about council reuse tip shops, focusing on their recent case studies and key learnings.

Questions and answers


We are looking at supporting a Men’s Shed to manage and deliver a Repair Café to our community. Can they apply for this grant, or does it have to be a Council?

Local Governments, or an Alpine Board managed by Alpine Boards Victoria, must be the lead or individual applicants for this grant. Councils as lead applicants can establish collaborative relationships with other Councils, or local NGOs or businesses 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.

We recommend commencing now with the establishment (or drafting) of an MOU or similar partnership agreement with any partner community organisations you are including in your application.

The Circular Economy Communities Fund had previously supported projects from NGO and community groups, however that program has allocated all its grant funding and will not be offering further rounds.

Feasibility Study/Business Case

In the absence of a Feasibility Study or business case, could an applicant write evidence of a solid rationale as evidence to support the project?

The assessment panel will need to see the feasibility type evidence in addition to the rationale (the why). We understand there will not be time to complete a standalone feasibility study/business case in time, so we are strongly encouraging councils to look for related work/feasibility studies done by other councils and adapt this to your proposal to cover elements such as budget, risk, project plan. You are welcome to flag your project concept with and we can work to connect you with other similar projects to support your proposal.

Could our Council use the grant money to apply an existing feasibility study (from another Council) to our local context?

Yes. With your application provide evidence of how you will adapt the feasibility study from another Council to your situation.

Types of Projects

Can we apply to the CE Councils Fund to build a Circular Economy hub and Education centre, using locally sourced recycled materials?

Would a program that assists local businesses to be more CE focused be eligible?

Answering both questions above: Yes, similar projects to both of those described have been implemented through the CE Councils Fund to date and this type of project supports many of the items listed in the eligibility criteria. For example:

  • Promote the circular economy within their communities and increase local employment and economic activity.
  • Facilitate local circular economy solutions.
  • Collaborate with other Councils/businesses/NGOs in identifying and implementing circular economy solutions.
  • Decrease waste materials being sent to landfill, including priority materials such as glass, organics, e-waste, plastics, tyres.
  • Increase the volume of materials reused, repurposed, repaired or recycled with improved value locally.

However, one thing to note is the timeline, so applicants could consider including in the application the aspects of the project that you believe are feasible to achieve before 30 June 2024.

A project we are considering is a replacement program for existing dilapidated and rotting timber pine parking barriers, with a recycled composite plastic equivalent. Would funding of these materials be eligible under this funding stream?

While this sounds like a very worthwhile council project in terms of creating a market pull from local government for products with recycled material, the projects selected under this fund has a local Circular Economy focus, where material under Council’s management is diverted/avoided from landfill via reuse, refurbish/resale, recycling and remanufacturing. There may be other funds available to support your work and our Buy Recycled tools and resources share valuable information on approaching this work.

Could Council implement a recycled asphalt project/trial including a staff education component (aiming to increase confidence and uptake of recycled materials in council infrastructure and building projects)? This project will be developed and based on key findings and recommendations from the Recycled Content in Infrastructure and Building Products Guide (and tool) developed by City of Stonnington and EAGA (in previous funding rounds).

Yes, you could use the findings & recommendations of the Stonnington & partners/EAGA project. You need to demonstrate how you have adapted them to your council’s situation. Your project needs to address one or more of the 3 objectives: decrease waste to landfill; Increase recycled, repurposed material; Increase circular economy activity & jobs. The project would be eligible if the recycled material was from your shire and would have gone to landfill if not recycled and used in the asphalt project (therefore meeting the objective Increase recycled, repurposed material). You will need to demonstrate that this is genuine repurposing of local material, not just Business As Usual purchasing of different material.

It would be useful for you to connect with SV’s Buy Recycled Service to ensure that your proposed project has not already been done. Questions on materials and products can be answered via the SV Sustainable Procurement inbox:

We would like to install small-scale on-site organics processing equipment for in-vessel composting, based on a system a neighbouring council currently uses. Would this be eligible?

Yes, a project proposal for an on-site in-vessel composting equipment would be eligible. The project must meet one or more of the 3 objectives: Reduce waste to landfill; Increase recycled/repurposed materials; Increase circular economy activity/jobs.

If your council has not done its own feasibility or business case on the project, and you are relying on work done previously by another council, you will need to provide evidence of how you will adapt the project to your council’s circumstances, including examples of volumes of material diverted, costs, end markets, community engagement, community support for the project.

Assessment of grants is by a competitive, merit-based process. To make your application as robust as possible you will need to demonstrate that the project proposal is mature, for example with consideration to Project Plan, Budget, Risk, Community communication plan.

Other Questions

If our council has previously received a grant through this fund, are we eligible to apply again?

Yes, your council is still eligible to apply if it has previously received funding through the CE Councils Fund.

Does round 3 funding application need to include any quotes or tender information?

Quotes are not necessary but would assist a grant assessment panel better understand the proposal, which will be important for a merit-based competitive grant round.

Download the presentation slides

Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the subject line, use the grant name Circular Economy Councils Fund.