Materials recycling infrastructure funding: Guidelines

Last updated: 21 April 2021

1. New funding for infrastructure

In 2020, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed Australia should establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, while building Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand.

The Australian Government has entered into a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) with States and Territories that commits up to $190 million over four years through the Recycling Modernisation Fund for recycling infrastructure projects across Australia.

$37.9 million is currently available to industry and local government for this round of the Recycling Victoria – Recycling Modernisation Fund (RV-RMF).

In addition, the Victorian government is releasing a separate funding stream providing $13.3 million funding for Round 2 of the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure fund (RVIF), to address paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, tyres, textiles and organics.

Victorian Government funding is released as part of its $380 million commitment under the Recycling Victoria policy, which will fundamentally boost jobs and establish a recycling system Victorians can rely on.

RV-RMF and RVIF funding for recycling infrastructure will build the capacity, capability and resilience of Victoria’s resource recovery sector, prepare businesses for the implementation of the national export ban on waste materials, increase the quality of materials for remanufacture and create jobs in the circular economy.

These funding guidelines describe how eligible proposals will be assessed against merit based criteria through a competitive process to apply for RV-RMF or RVIF funding.

The same application form is used to apply for either RV-RMF or RVIF funding. Sustainability Victoria will assess which fund your project is most aligned to. RV-RMF applications will be assessed in consultation with the Australian Government.

Key dates

Applications open Applications close Information sessions

Thursday 25 March 2021

11.59 pm, Friday 7 May 2021

April 2021

Successful projects will be announced as soon as possible after evaluation and assessment.

Note: these dates may change.

2. Overview

The Recycling Victoria - Recycling Modernisation Fund (RV-RMF) supports infrastructure projects that address specific waste materials impacted by the national waste export bans:

  • mixed plastics that are not of a single resin/polymer type and/or further sorting, cleaning and processing is required before use in re-manufacturing
  • single resin/polymer plastics that have not been re-processed (e.g. cleaned and baled PET bottles)
  • mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard
  • unprocessed glass, in a whole or broken state (both formed packaging and flat sheet glass)
  • all whole used tyres, including baled tyres, but not including bus, truck and aviation tyres exported for re-treading to a verified re-treading facility.

If your application is eligible for RV-RMF, it will be subject to consideration for Australian Government funding. See section 4.2 on RMF for more detail. If your application is not successful for funding through the Australian Government, SV will assess your application under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund – Materials stream (round 2).

The Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund (RVIF) – Materials stream (Round 2) supports infrastructure projects that increase capacity and improve the recovery of the materials listed below:

  • paper and cardboard
  • plastics
  • glass
  • organics
  • textiles
  • tyres.

Funding is available to businesses (including international), not-for-profits and local governments that have existing reprocessing and remanufacturing facilities in Victoria, or are proposing a new facility in Victoria.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Friday 7 May 2021. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances.

To ensure your project is investment ready, support and assistance available.

2.1 Funding available

There is no funding cap per project.

2.2 Fund objectives

The funds' objectives are to:

  • improve recycling outcomes by addressing critical infrastructure gaps in Australia’s waste management and resource recovery system
  • increase the capacity for domestic sorting, processing and manufacturing of materials affected by the National Waste Export Ban, Container Deposit Scheme and Victoria’s kerbside transition
  • increase the supply of quality recycled materials
  • increase the recovery and local reprocessing of eligible materials
  • manage eligible materials in line with the waste hierarchy
  • increase the use and market demand of recovered materials in remanufacturing and to make new products
  • create jobs in the resource recovery sector
  • increase other economic development opportunities such as economic performance and growth of hubs
  • reduce the amount and environmental impact of waste going to landfill.

This will be achieved by funding projects that will:

  • diversify and attract new investment to increase the quality of materials recovered for recycling
  • attract reprocessing infrastructure to increase the quantity of materials re-entering manufacturing streams and improving the circularity of materials
  • support innovative technologies and processes that provide new or improved recycling and remanufacturing solutions.

3. Application Process and Assessment Process

3.1 Assessment process

Funding will be provided through a competitive application process. You will submit an application through the SmartyGrants website.

As part of the online application, you will complete an eligibility checklist. If you do not meet any of the eligibility requirements in the application form, you will not be able to proceed with your application.

In addition, you will complete a project-readiness assessment to self-assess the investment readiness of your project and ensure your application has the best chance of success.

The application form covers what detailed information Sustainability Victoria requires to assess your application. If Sustainability Victoria requires clarification, you are required to respond in a timely manner.

If you have developed a separate business case, you may submit this to Sustainability Victoria as an attachment for supporting evidence, however, each question in the application form must still be completed in its entirety and in accordance with the information requirements.

3.2 Assessment process

Once applications close, Sustainability Victoria will conduct a pre-assessment eligibility check on your application. If Sustainability Victoria finds your project is ineligible, you will be notified as soon as possible.

Your application will then be assessed by a panel with relevant technical and commercial expertise. The assessment panel will be supported by advisors to provide technical, regulatory, economic, financial and probity advice on applications.

Assessment criteria

The assessment panel will assess the application according to the following merit criteria.


Demonstrate the project meets one or more of the fund objectives:

  • Increase the recovery and reprocessing of eligible materials.
  • Increase the use and market demand of quality recovered materials for remanufacturing
  • Increase economic development opportunities such as jobs, economic performance and growth of hubs.
  • Increase the use of recycled content to make new products.
  • Reduce the amount and environmental impact of waste going to landfill.

Demonstrate the project is viable, including demonstration of:

  • technology
  • infrastructure
  • feedstock
  • outputs
  • End markets and offtake agreements
  • landfill diversion.

The objectives of the project proposed align with the strategic priorities of the organisation.

RV-RMF only

Demonstrate the impact your project will have on capacity requirements resulting from the impacts of the waste export ban on materials. Projects that significantly increase capacity to recover export waste ban materials will be considered more favourably.


Demonstrate the participants’ capability and capacity to successfully deliver the project including:

  • Applicant’s capability to deliver the project
  • appropriate governance structure to support the implementation of the project
  • Project Partner(s)’ capability to deliver the project
  • appropriate commercial structures and contractual agreements
  • stakeholder engagement considerations to support the implementation of the project.


Demonstrate viability to successfully deliver the project including:

  • feasibility to deliver milestones within the timeframe
  • if your project addresses the waste export ban, it should be operational in time for the relevant material ban start date (e.g. single resin polymer plastics should be operational by 1 July 2022)
  • appropriate site considerations
  • regulatory, statutory and works approvals required
  • risk identification and appropriate mitigation measures
  • a strong monitoring and evaluation framework to track performance.

Financial viability demonstrated through financial assessment and cost benefit analysis including:

  • level and certainty of the economic viability over the project’s operational life
  • the level and appropriateness of financial support provided.


Demonstrate why the project is needed including:

  • the need for government financial assistance (such as impacts on scope and timing if not funded)
  • economic benefit (such as value for money for Victorians and potential leveraged private sector co-investment)
  • social benefit (such as jobs)
  • environmental benefit
  • policy and regulatory alignment.

Projects should, wherever possible, address Australia’s regional and remove waste challenges.


Each assessment criteria has a different weighting which determines your final assessment score.

Assessment criteria RV-RMF weighting RVIF Materials stream (round 2) weighting













Diversity consideration

The assessment panel may overlay rankings to achieve a diverse mix of projects that can represent:

  • a geographical spread across Victorian regions
  • a spread across industries
  • a diversity of project types:
    • projects that increase sector diversity and resilience of markets
    • projects that represent a spread across materials streams
  • Funding allocations under Round 1 will be considered as part of the assessment of Round 2 applications when considering market diversity.

3.3 Due diligence

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 Project Participants.

Applicants (and their Related Entities and, if applicable, their Project Partners and/or Project Participants) must:

  • have had no Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breaches in the last five years or, if there was a breach, SV may assess that the Applicant’s breach posses a satisfactory level of risk;
  • 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 $20M minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5M minimum
    • WorkCover;
  • have not failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by SV within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason; and
  • manage any conflicts of interest adequately.

Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to SV’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; and
  • whether, since the finding, the Applicant has had a satisfactory level of compliance with relevant Environmental and Safety Laws and Workplace Laws.

SV may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners and/or Project Participants involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Project Partners and/or Project Participant(s) 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 Participants and Project Partners) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Applicant

Applicants who were successful under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund (round 1) are eligible to apply. The project must have a clear difference (e.g. targeting a different material, at a different site or a clear expansion of processing capacity).

Applicants must:

  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN), or have a joint venture partner with one, or commit to establish an Australian company prior to entering into a funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria
  • be a business, not-for-profit or local government that has existing reprocessing and remanufacturing facilities in Victoria, or are proposing a new facility to be located in Victoria
  • have been operating in Australia or internationally for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date
  • meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements
  • agree to comply with the Short Form Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions (for grants $50,000 and less) or General funding agreement (for grants over $50,000) and Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.

Applicants and Project Participants must:

  • demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project
  • meet funding program timelines
  • not have failed to meet program timelines with other Sustainability Victoria funding programs without sufficient reason
  • not have failed to address an environmental or safety breach
  • not have a breach not yet resolved
  • not have a current industrial relations investigation or prosecution (see: due diligence).

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Who cannot apply

  • Individuals
  • Social enterprises

4.2 Project

Projects must:

  • meet one or more of the fund objectives
  • be located in Victoria
  • source more than 50% of materials from Victoria
  • meet the eligibility criteria and one or more of the fund objectives
  • meet regulatory or planning requirements or comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order
  • demonstrate a need for Victorian government support
  • be commissioned and operational by 30 March 2024.

Projects should maximise public value and private sector co-investment. Requested funding must be directly related to the project.

5. Applicant Funding Contribution Requirements

Recycling Victoria – Recycling Modernisation Fund

Applicants are required to meet the following minimum cash co-contribution:

  • $1: $1: $1 ($1 from the applicant, $1 from Sustainability Victoria and $1 from the Commonwealth)

Funding from other government sources (including federal, state or local) cannot be included in your co-contribution.

Recycling Victoria Infrastructure fund

Applicants are required to meet the following minimum cash co-contribution:

  • Industry must co-contribute at least $3 for every $1 funded
  • Local government must co-contribute at least $2 for every $1 funded

Investment leverage will be a key consideration as part of application assessments. Higher investment from the applicant will be looked upon more favourably.

5.1 What will not be funded

Projects that were successful under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund (round 1) are not eligible.

Projects must not:

  • have commenced construction before signing the funding agreement (equipment can be ordered at Applicant’s own risk)
  • be undertaken solely to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order
  • focus on materials not listed above
  • include waste to energy
  • seek to extend capacity for receipt of unsorted materials (e.g. infrastructure for transfer stations).

The following is ineligible for funding:

  • in-kind contributions
  • requests for assistance in managing cash flow
  • purchase of land
  • routine or cyclical maintenance works
  • ongoing operational costs such as, but not limited to, salaries, electricity, water and other utilities
  • costs of equipment not dedicated to the project purpose (e.g. all vehicles)
  • pre-construction (site preparation) activities such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works
  • projects that involve the repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters where the damage should be covered by insurance
  • business case development
  • feasibility studies
  • consultancy work
  • project management costs
  • contingency costs.

6. Funding conditions

Successful Applicants must do the following.

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.
  • Provide a project plan.
  • If you receive funding of more than $250,000, plan for capital works signage.
  • If your project is based in metropolitan Melbourne or across Victoria, and is given funding of at least $3 million, you need to meet Local Jobs First requirements.
  • If your project is in regional Victoria, and is given funding of at least $1 million, you need to meet Local Jobs First requirements.
  • If your project is funded under RMF, comply with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 requirements (if applicable).

During and after the project

  • Deliver the project as outlined in the application and comply with the funding agreement.
  • Contribute to regular project updates or meetings.
  • Notify Sustainability Victoria immediately about any delay or change to the project.
  • Provide update reports to Sustainability Victoria at agreed milestones with evidence of expenditure, progress and performance
  • Provide adequate monitoring and evaluation of the project according to the funding agreement.
  • Collect and release data to Sustainability Victoria and (where applicable) the Australian Government. Sustainability Victoria may share or report on the data.
  • Contribute to the project’s promotional activities (for example, provide Sustainability Victoria with support by reviewing and approving written stories or videos).
  • Participate in and contribute to Sustainability Victoria activities to distribute the findings to broader stakeholders (for example, government and industry).

Acknowledge that:

  • the Australian Government and Sustainability Victoria have contributed funding in all communications related to the project under the Recycling Victoria - Recycling Modernisation Fund
  • Sustainability Victoria has contributed funding in all communications related to the project under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund – Materials stream (round 2).

7. How to apply

The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.

  1. Ensure that your organisation can apply.
  2. Ensure that your project is qualified.
  3. Engage with the relevant investment facilitation support services.
  4. Read Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement. Ensure that you can meet the terms and conditions.
    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.
  5. Read Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  6. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  7. Review and complete the eligibility check and project readiness assessment as soon as possible to ensure your project is investment ready.
  8. Attend or view the information sessions.
  9. Complete all questions and upload supporting documents.
  10. Submit your application by 11:59 pm, 7 May 2021. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances, refer to Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.

Your application

  • As this is a competitive grant, we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
  • You must use SmartyGrants, unless you have written permission from Sustainability Victoria.
  • Each application is for one project only. An application must not be for multiple projects.
  • You can submit multiple applications. Each application must be for a different project.
  • You can be a Project Partner in more than one application.
  • Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. Although you can apply for more than one Sustainability Victoria grant for a project, you can only receive one grant. If you’ve already applied for a Sustainability Victoria grant and now find this grant is more relevant and suitable, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.
  • There is no Expression of Interest (EOI) process.
  • You will retain ownership of your intellectual property (IP). See the funding agreement.

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 us.

8. Assistance available

8.1 Investment facilitation

We recommend Australian Applicants to engage with investment support services before submitting their application to ensure their project is investment ready and set up for success.

Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBOs) can connect your business to the appropriate service for you.

Read about the Victorian Government Business Offices in metro Melbourne

Read about the Victorian Government Business Offices in regional Victoria

Sustainability Victoria offers an investment facilitation service for projects that increase Victoria’s resource recovery sector.

Read about our investment facilitation service

Or email for more information.

International Applicants must notify their nearest Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office (VGTI) of their intention to apply.

Visit the Victorian Trade and Investment Office website.

8.2 Information sessions

There will be 2 information sessions.

The first session will discuss general information, such as:

  • fund objectives
  • what Sustainability Victoria is looking for in applications
  • helpful hints and tips in drafting an application.

Sessions are online. A recording and transcript will be available after the session.

Session 1

Date: 1 April 2021

Time: 10:00 am

Register online

Session 2

Date: 21 April 2021

Time: 2:00 pm

Registration opening soon

8.3 Support in completing your application

If you do not have the internal capacity to answer all the application questions (e.g. finance analysis) we encourage you engage an external expert to assist you with your application.

8.4 Contact us

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 Materials recycling infrastructure funding.

9. Fund definitions


Australian Business Number


Australian Company Number


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. Co-contribution


The Applicant’s required cash contribution to the total project income.

Direct Jobs

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.

End market

The receipt of source-separated recyclable material for utilisation of the material as a finished product or as a raw material for a manufacturing process.

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 international equivalents) 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.

Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE)

The hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis.

Calculating FTE

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.

Indirect Jobs

Jobs created by other businesses that come into existence due to the economic growth of your business.

In-kind Contribution

An in-kind contribution is a contribution of a good or a service other than money.

In-kind contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  • staff time to manage project implementation (project management and installation costs that utilise existing internal resources);
  • time spent on project activities by volunteers; and
  • donated goods or services related to the project.
  • The following activities cannot be considered in-kind contributions:
  • operating expenses that are not directly associated with delivering the project; and opportunity costs such as staff ‘downtime’ during the installation of equipment or implementation of activities.

National Waste Export Ban

On 9 August 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed Australia should establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, while building Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand. On 8 November 2019, Commonwealth, state and territory Environment Ministers agreed that waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres that have not been processed into value-added materials should be banned from export from Australia.

For more information, read about the waste export ban.

Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

NGOs are non-profit organisations that are set up and operated independently from local, state or international governments. They usually address social, political or environmental issues. In Australia a non-government organisation:

  • runs without oversight or representation from government
  • has a humanitarian function, addressing social and/or political issues
  • has paid staff and/or volunteers
  • tends to represent larger scale/international projects.

International businesses

Businesses that are not located in Australia and do not have an ABN. International applicants must either have a joint venture partner with an ABN or must establish an Australian company prior to entering into a funding agreement with SV and a Victorian office prior to receiving funding.

Project Participant/s

An organisation engaged by the Applicant to assist in the delivery of the Applicants’ project; included but not limited to product suppliers, consultants, contractors and major sub-contractors.

Project Partner/s

An organisation/s in an agreed partnership with the Applicant that have a critical role in the project and a formal commitment to delivering the support required to ensure the project’s success. The partnership needs 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.

Public value

Public value includes a projects ability to

Related Entities

Entities which are related to the Applicant and includes:

  • Holding companies of the Applicant
  • Subsidiaries of the Applicant
  • Subsidiaries of holding companies of the Applicant
  • Companies with common directors or shareholders as the Applicant
  • Companies that are a beneficiary under a trust of which the Applicant is a trustee
  • Trustees of a trust under which the Applicant is a beneficiary
  • Companies that conduct business at the same address as the Applicant, or the same address as the location of the activity for which the funding is sought

Related Person/s

Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the Applicant or a Related Entity.


The transformation of materials into a demonstrated finished product that has a demand and use.


An industrial process that used material is put through so that it can be used again.

Workplace Laws

Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009 (or international equivalent), 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 feedback.


In the subject line, use the grant name Materials recycling infrastructure funding.