Circular Economy Household Education Fund – Round 3

Last updated: 15 March 2023
Status: Applications closed
Closing date: Wednesday 22 March 2023, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Councils: $30,000 plus variable component. Alpine Resorts Victoria: $100,000
Available to: Local government, Alpine Resorts Victoria (ARV)
Prior to 1 July 2022, this fund was named the Recycling Victoria Household Education and Behaviour Change Fund.

Sustainability Victoria is delivering the Household Education and Behaviour Change Program to help educate Victorians to better manage and reduce their household waste. This will involve statewide and local campaigns.

To support the delivery of local campaigns, the $6.03 million Circular Economy Household Education Fund (the Fund) provides financial support to all Victorian councils and Alpine Resorts Victoria (ARV – previously 4 separate alpine resort management boards).

In Round 3, applicants must use the Campaign Materials developed by Sustainability Victoria to:

  • introduce the new household recycling services if introducing a service before 31 December 2024, or if not
  • improve existing household recycling streams and promote the recycling system to build community trust and pave the way for successful implementation of the new services when they are introduced.

The Campaign Materials educate and help Victorians to use the new (or existing) services correctly, to achieve low levels of contamination. Campaign materials are available now from the asset library, with more added regularly.

This grant is funded through the government’s circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy.

This is last round of funding. We strongly encourage all remaining councils who have not yet received a grant under the Fund to apply.

1. Fund overview

1.1 Fund objectives

The objectives of the Fund are to:

  • provide councils and ARV with financial support to use the Campaign Materials when introducing, improving or promoting household recycling services systems
  • educate and help Victorians to understand and use the new, upcoming, or existing services correctly, to achieve low levels of contamination.

The new household recycling services under the Circular Economy (CE) policy are:

  • a glass-only recycling service (kerbside bin or drop-off)
  • food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service (kerbside bin or drop-off)
  • adding food organics (FO) to an existing garden organics (GO) service
  • expanding existing opt-in GO or FOGO services to the entire municipality
  • changing bin lid colours to be consistent across the state
  • achieving a 4-stream household recycling service.

1.2 Funding available

The Fund includes a base amount for both councils and ARV, and an additional variable component for councils.

Base amount

The Fund includes a base amount for all Applicants. It is:

  1. $30,000 for each council
  2. $100,000 for ARV.

Variable component for councils

In addition, there is a variable component for councils which will be determined by Sustainability Victoria. The maximum a council could receive is capped at $106,000 (including variable amount) based on consideration of the following factors:

  • population to be reached and informed about service changes, based on the:
    • number of residents in the municipality (based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data)
    • number and density of residential properties or dwellings in the municipality (based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data).
  • evidence councils provide in the application of specific recycling behaviour change challenges* in their communities. For example:
    • existence of high household contamination rates
    • significantly high proportion of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the council area
    • the complexity (the number and type) of changes from the existing to the new services and whether they are staggered or occur all at once
    • community sentiment, trust or barriers which may impede the successful introduction of new services.

Example 1

Council A and Council B have a similar population, but Council B has a higher number of dwellings, a higher population density and a higher rate of languages other than English spoken at home.

Council B would receive more funding compared to Council A.

Example 2

Council X and Council Y both have a high proportion of languages other than English spoken at home, but Council Y has a 30% higher population and a higher number of dwellings but is less densely populated, with 30% less persons per square kilometre. These variables affect the rankings of both councils relative to all councils.

They would each receive a similar amount of funding, with Council Y’s slightly higher.

*Please note: Sustainability Victoria has conducted extensive research to identify the segments of the population that are more likely to possess higher rates of incorrect recycling behaviour and knowledge. To learn more, visit Recycling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of Victorians.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, Applicants must:

  • be from the 79 Victorian local governments (councils) or ARV
  • have not already received funding in previous funding rounds
  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • demonstrate they are planning to deliver and evaluate a campaign to introduce, improve or promote household recycling systems
  • commence a project before 31 December 2024 and complete a project by 30 June

Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective Sustainability Victoria Regional Engagement Lead to discuss their application and receive support. Please contact if you do not know who your contact is.

2.2 What will be funded

The activities involved with delivery of a campaign using the funding are referred to as the Project.

Funding will support Projects that:

  • take place in and service Victoria
  • be completed by 30 June 2025
  • use the Campaign Materials developed by Sustainability Victoria.

A minimum of 60% of the grant amount must be used on advertising the campaign locally, however Sustainability Victoria recommends 80% of the grant be allocated to advertising to reach all segments of the local community.

This includes advertising across all channels, including but not limited to print, radio, digital, selected out-of-home channels (such as billboards at transport stops and shopping centres) and direct mail. Advertising channels must be targeted to reach the municipality.

A maximum of 40% of the grant amount can be used for other activities such as:

  • localisation of the Campaign Materials developed by Sustainability Victoria, including incorporating the Applicant’s logo
  • production of materials designed for local use (for example, printing costs)
  • monitoring and evaluation of the Project
  • community-based social marketing and behavioural interventions for specific audience segments (for example, prompts in communal bin areas, incentives or competitions, visible social norms and diffusion techniques, such as use of gold stars or rewards for low contamination bins, direct feedback via bin tags or letterbox drops)
  • engagement activities (for example, external costs to run workshops, door-knocking, community tours, displays and events. These costs may include venue hire, advertising and production of materials)
  • an external Project delivery officer 100% dedicated to delivery of the Project, if it can be demonstrated this is essential.

Sustainability Victoria has developed a Campaign Guide to support councils and ARV to identify these activities. Campaign materials are available now from the asset library, with more added regularly.

2.3 What will not be funded

Projects are ineligible for funding if they:

  • do not use the Campaign Materials developed by Sustainability Victoria
  • are already funded by other government funding streams for education and behaviour change activities.

The following costs are ineligible for funding:

  • capital purchases (for example, infrastructure or equipment)
  • lease or purchase of land
  • permit, licensing, approval costs
  • routine or cyclical maintenance works
  • repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance
  • operating costs (for example, electricity, water and other utilities)
  • purchase of vehicles (for example, front-end loaders or forklifts)
  • business case development, feasibility studies, consultancy or contract work
  • pre-construction (site preparation) (for example, site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works)
  • research for development and demonstration
  • leasing of equipment
  • travel, conferences and other educational activities
  • retrospective Projects or Project activities.

3. Assessment process

3.1 Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed against the criteria outlined below.


Applicants must provide a summary of their current household recycling services and detail the campaign they plan to deliver to introduce, improve, or promote the household recycling systems.

If you are introducing a new recycling service before December 2024, your project must be regarding this new service. If you are not introducing a new service in this time, you must explain how your project will support you to introduce the new services and pave the way for kerbside transitions in the future.

In addition, applicants must:

  • explain the type and focus of the campaign they are planning
  • identify and explain the primary and secondary audiences within the community which need to be engaged
  • identify and explain any known recycling behaviour change challenges in the community.


Applicants must detail how they will deliver their Project. This includes details of the:

  • communication and engagement activities
  • campaign materials and channels
  • monitoring and evaluation activities to assess behaviour change and campaign performance.


Applicants must explain why they have chosen to deliver their Project as outlined in the application and how this approach will educate their community and deliver a change in behaviour.


Applicants must demonstrate their ability to deliver the Project and outline who will be responsible. Applicants must detail their:

  • capability (skills and knowledge)
  • capacity (resources)
  • experience (previous campaign delivery).

3.2 Due diligence checks

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the Project.

Applicants must:

  • have had no Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breaches in the last five years or, if there was a breach, Sustainability Victoria may assess a satisfactory level of risk the Applicant’s breach poses
  • have not been the subject of an enforceable undertaking or successful litigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 or a fair work instrument within the last five years
  • demonstrate financial capability to undertake the Project
  • have adequate insurance as outlined in the funding agreement and below:
    • Public liability $20 million minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5 million minimum
    • WorkCover
  • have not failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous Projects funded by Sustainability Victoria within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason
  • manage any conflicts of interest adequately.

Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to Sustainability Victoria‘s consideration of:

  • the seriousness of any finding/s
  • whether the finding/s has been resolved to the satisfaction of the relevant enforcement agency, or the Applicant can demonstrate it is working effectively to resolve the finding
  • the efforts made by the Applicant including implementation of management systems, to ensure no further finding/s occur
  • whether, since the finding, the Applicant has had a satisfactory level of compliance with relevant Environmental and Safety Laws and Workplace Laws.

Sustainability Victoria reserves the right not to award funding to Applicants where the due diligence risk is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

4. Funding conditions

Successful Applicants approved for funding must do the following.

4.1 Before starting the Project

  • Participate in an inception meeting to discuss Project and funding agreement.
  • Agree to realistic evidence-based and performance-based milestone payments.
  • Provide Sustainability Victoria with insurance certificates of currency.
  • Sign Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement within 30 days of approval.

4.2 During and after the Project

  • Deliver the Project as outlined in the application and comply with the funding agreement.
  • Notify Sustainability Victoria immediately about any delay or change to the Project.
  • Submit a finalised communications and engagement plan and a monitoring and evaluation plan using the templates provided by Sustainability Victoria as the first milestone in the Project.
  • Attend Project meetings and provide Project update reports to Sustainability Victoria, at agreed milestones with evidence of expenditure, progress, and performance, using the templates provided by Sustainability Victoria.
  • Undertake adequate monitoring and evaluation of the project according to the funding agreement, using the template provided by Sustainability Victoria.
  • Provide a final Project monitoring and evaluation report to Sustainability Victoria using a template provided by Sustainability Victoria. Sustainability Victoria may share or report on the data.
  • Collect and release data to Sustainability Victoria. Sustainability Victoria may share or report on the data.
  • Contribute to promotional activities such as video or publishable case studies and share learnings that may be published about the Project
  • Participate in and contribute to Sustainability Victoria activities to distribute any Project findings to broader stakeholders (for example, government and industry).

5. Timeline

Applications open: Monday 6 February 2023

Applications close: Wednesday 22 March 2023

Information session: Tuesday 14 February 2023

Notification of outcome: May 2023

Funding agreements established: Within 30 days of notification of outcome

Projects commenced: After funding agreement established and before 31 December 2024

Project completed by: 30 June 2025

Note: These dates are indicative only and are subject change.

6. How to apply

Applicants should review and follow these steps:

  1. Read through this document, the program’s guidelines. It is particularly important to ensure your:
    1. organisation is eligible to apply (see Section 2.1 Who can apply?)
    2. Project meets the assessment criteria (see Section 3.1 Assessment criteria)
  2. Read Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement. You must meet the terms and conditions to ensure funding.
    1. For grants $50,000 or less read the Short-form grant funding agreement.
    2. For grants more than $50,000 read the General grant funding agreement.
  3. Read Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  4. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  5. Attend the information session. Although this not a mandatory requirement, the information session will provide background on the fund and tips for completing the application (See Section 7.1 for details on the information sessions)
  6. Submit your application by 11:59 pm, Wednesday 22 March 2023. Late applications will not be accepted. See Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.

Your application

  • Allow adequate time to plan, research, gather support documentation and to draft your application (you can save as you go in SmartyGrants)
  • Use the Campaign Guide to assist you in preparing your application
  • Complete all questions and upload supporting documents.
  • Complete and submit your application online via SmartyGrants
  • You must use SmartyGrants unless you have written permission from Sustainability Victoria.

Tips for using SmartyGrants

  • Click ‘Save progress’ every 10 to 15 minutes. This prevents your data from being lost if something happens when you’re filling in the form. You will be automatically logged out of the system after 60 minutes of inactivity (where you did not click ‘Save progress’ or navigate between pages). Once logged out, you will close any changes that were not saved.
  • Wait for your file to be uploaded. Wait for your document to be successfully attached before going to another page. If not, the file upload will be cancelled. The maximum size per file is 25MB.
  • Once you’ve submitted your application, you cannot make any changes. Check your application carefully.
  • You will receive a confirmation email. When your application has been submitted successfully, you will get an automatic receipt from SmartyGrants.
  • For any technical issues, please contact SmartyGrants on +61 3 9320 6888 during business hours.

7. Assistance available

7.1 Information bulletin

Answers to questions we receive via phone and email are published on our information bulletin where you can also view a recording of the information session.

We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in these grant guidelines.

7.2 Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday


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

8. Why the Victorian Government is providing this funding

The Victorian Government has invested over $515 million to deliver the biggest transformation and reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling industry. This includes $380 million to deliver Victorian Government’s circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy, which will fundamentally reduce waste, boost jobs and establish a recycling system Victorians can rely on.

Action 2.3 under the policy, is the Household Education and Behaviour Change Program. Sustainability Victoria is leading this $26.632 million program, which aims to educate all Victorian households on how to recycle correctly, reduce contamination and minimise waste in response to the New Household Recycling Services (linked with action 5.1 of the policy led by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning).

The Household Education and Behaviour Change Program has two components, a statewide campaign, and the $6.03 million Circular Economy Household Education Fund (the Fund). Together, the program and the Fund support the policy targets:
  1. Divert 80% of waste from landfill by 2030, and an interim target of 72% by 2025.
  2. Cut total waste generation by 15% per capita by 2030.
  3. Halve the volume of organic material going to landfill between 2020 and 2030, with an interim target of 20% reduction by 2025.
  4. Ensure every Victorian household has access to food and garden organic waste recycling services or local composting by 2030.

The program and the Fund also sit under Sustainability Victoria’s strategy to transition Victoria to a circular, climate-resilient economy and the following focus areas:

  • Focus area 2: We enable resource recovery and reuse
  • Focus area 3: We lead community behaviour change to reduce emissions and waste.

9. Definitions


The applicant who applies for the funding and is responsible for all details in the submission of an application and the contractual obligations under the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.

Campaign Guide

Sustainability Victoria has developed the Campaign Guide to support councils and the ARV to use the Campaign Materials and deliver the campaign in their local areas. The Campaign Guide can be found on the asset library, along with the Campaign Materials and other resources.

Campaign Materials

Materials and resources developed by Sustainability Victoria for the Recycling Victoria Household Education and Behaviour Change Program. These can be found on the asset library.

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 2017 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.

New household recycling services

Victorian Government’s circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy, requires consistent household recycling services across the state. These include a separate glass recycling service available to all households by 2027, a food and garden organics service by 2030, and consistent bin lid colours.


Delivery of all activities using, or involved with, the funding provided by Sustainability Victoria. For example, communication and engagement activities, or monitoring and evaluation activities.

Workplace Laws

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.

Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the subject line, use the grant name 'Circular Economy Household Education Fund'.