Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund Round 1

Last updated: 27 October 2021
Status: Applications closed
Closing date: Thursday 18 November 2021, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Minimum $50,000 available per project. No funding cap per project.
Co-contribution:

If the application is awarded Sustainability Victoria funding and Australian Government funding: $1: $1: $1 (SV:Australian Government:Applicant).

If an application is not awarded Australian Government funding, Sustainability Victoria may consider funding the project on a minimum 1:1 (SV:Applicant).

Available to: Businesses, Industry groups and associations, Local government

The Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund (the Fund) supports the diversion of organic waste from landfill and the enhancement of end markets for recycled organics across the agricultural sector.

$10.2 million is currently available under round 1 for organic processing businesses to develop new or enhance existing organic processing infrastructure to improve product quality or increase capacity.

Through this fund, applicants will also be considered for additional support from Australian Government's Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund. Sustainability Victoria will assess and select applicants through a competitive and merit-based process to be considered for the Australian Government’s Fund. Sustainability Victoria will be responsible for submitting the application on behalf of the applicant.

Sustainability Victoria and Australian Government funding will need to be at least matched by the Applicant on a minimum 1:1:1 basis.

Future funding will be available to support the growth of recycled organic end markets to use the increased supply of better-quality products; it will open in 2022.

For the purposes of this grant program the term ‘organics’ or ‘organic’ refers to organic waste diverted from landfill.

This grant is part of the Recycling Victoria Policy funding.

Information bulletin

Find out more using the Information bulletin.

1. Fund overview

1.1 Fund objectives

The Fund’s objectives are to:

  • increase the recovery and reprocessing of source separated organic waste into quality composts and soil conditioners
  • increase the use and market demand of the end products, especially for use on agricultural soils
  • support employment and long-term economic growth and development.
  • support Victoria’s transition to a circular economy

This will be achieved by funding projects that build new or enhance existing organic processing infrastructure:

  • to increase capacity
  • to improve product quality through the installation of decontamination infrastructure or the procurement of technical equipment that improves product quality, including product testing.

1.2 Funding available

Sustainability Victoria grants from $50,000 are available per project. No upper limit on fund requests.

Please note: the program may offer partial funding for recommended projects.

1.3 Co-contribution

Applicants must meet these minimum cash-contribution ratios.

If the application is awarded the Sustainability Victoria Fund and Australian Government funding: $1: $1: $1 ($1 from the applicant, $1 from Sustainability Victoria and $1 from the Australian Government)

If an application is not awarded Australian Government funding, Sustainability Victoria may consider funding the project on a minimum 1:1 ratio.

Co-contributions must be financial (cash). In-kind contributions cannot be included in your co-contribution.

Funding from other government sources cannot be included in your co-contribution.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply

Eligible organisations are:

  • organic processing businesses such as:
    • commercial composting facilities (in-vessel and open windrow)
    • anaerobic digestors
  • Victorian local government
  • Victorian Water Corporations.

Eligible organisations must be able to confirm that their proposed project diverts organic waste that would otherwise go to landfill and also produces outputs that can be safely used on soils.

Applicants must:

  • currently produce or will produce recycled organic products or value-add to recycled organic products
  • have an existing facility located in Victoria or the intent to build a facility in Victoria
  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) with an operating history of a minimum of 2 years
  • be registered for GST
  • not be insolvent
  • not have any owner or director who is an undischarged bankrupt.

Applicants can establish collaborative relationships with other organisations as required to support project delivery and maximise the project’s impact. Applicants will need to clarify the nature of its relationships with other organisations and demonstrate their commitments to the project. These other organisations will be considered as Project Partners.

Sustainability Victoria manages several grant programs. 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 for your project, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.

2.2 Who cannot apply

  • Non-government organisations (NGOs)
  • Research institutions, including universities
  • Community gardens

Applicants (including other project participants) are ineligible for funding if they:

  • have failed to adequately address an environmental or safety breach or cannot demonstrate they are working effectively to resolve the breach
  • are subject to current industrial relations investigation or prosecution
  • have failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by Government within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason
  • are unable to demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project
  • have failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by Sustainability Victoria within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason
  • do not have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • are not registered for GST
  • are insolvent
  • have an owner or director who is an undischarged bankrupt.

2.3 What will be funded

Applications must be:

  • a project that builds new or enhances existing organics processing infrastructure to either:
    • increase capacity, or
    • improve product quality through the installation of decontamination infrastructure or the procurement of technical equipment, including product testing
  • a project(s) that had a confirmed investment decision made on or later than 15 April 2021 and will be commissioned and operational by 30 March 2024
  • a proposed project that is expected to be economically viable over its operational life.

Eligible recycled organic processing infrastructure include:

  • aerobic composting
  • anaerobic digestion.

Special conditions apply to Australian Government-funded projects where the funding is for construction or building work and the Australian Government funding is at least $10 million. You and your subcontractors will need to comply with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016.

You can submit multiple applications. Each application must be for a different project. An application must not be for multiple projects.

2.4 What will not be funded

Projects are ineligible for funding if they:

  • focus on materials other than organics waste diverted from landfill
  • do not meet the eligibility criteria of the Fund
  • relate to small organic recycling systems processing less than 2,000 tonnes of organic waste per year (per facility or processing unit)
  • relate to the following waste management processes:
    • Mixed Waste Organic Outputs (MWOO) facilities
    • Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facilities
    • infrastructure to facilitate the collection and redistribution of edible food waste to food rescue charities
    • food waste disposal such as insinkerators and macerators
    • food dehydrators or similar on-site rapid food waste processing equipment
    • extending capacity for collection of waste (for example, food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection and transport)
    • infrastructure, such as gate fees (IT, computer or software), kitchen caddies and bags or bin liners, bins and
    • vehicles.
  • are being undertaken in order to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order
  • do not meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • are subject to current industrial relations investigation or prosecution
  • have commenced construction of infrastructure before 15 April 2021
  • seek funding for research, demonstration and development (new technologies proven by demonstration will be considered)
  • do not clearly demonstrate a need for government support
  • will not be commissioned and operational by 30 March 2024.

The following costs are ineligible for funding:

  • in-kind contributions
  • lease or 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
  • purchase of vehicles (for example, front-end loaders and forklifts)
  • pre-construction (site preparation) activities (for example, site clearing, or site accessibility works)
  • 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
  • contingency costs
  • permit, licensing and approval costs
  • marketing, advertising and promotional costs
  • research, development and demonstration
  • leasing of equipment
  • travel, conferences and other educational activities
  • requests for assistance in managing cash flow.

3. Assessment process

The assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to the criteria below.

3.1 Assessment criteria

What

Weighting: 40%

Describe how your project will deliver on the purpose of the fund and any of the objectives.

Demonstrate how your project will:

  • increase the recovery and reprocessing of source separated organic waste into quality composts and soil conditioners (also include how feedstocks and outputs will be monitored and assessed to ensure safety and quality of end products)
  • increase the use and market demand of the end products, especially for use on agricultural soils
  • support employment and long-term economic growth and development.
  • support Victoria’s transition to a circular economy

Demonstrate how your project is viable in terms of:

  • technology and infrastructure (including contamination identification and removal and capacity to adapt to any changes to the Australian Standards which may increase minimum product requirements)
  • feedstock sourcing and output capacity
  • landfill diversion and end markets.

Who

Weighting: 20%

Demonstrate capability and capacity to successfully deliver the project, including:

  • the applicant’s track record in managing similar projects and access to any resources such as infrastructure, capital equipment or technology required to deliver the project
  • appropriate governance structures to support the implementation of the project
  • appropriate commercial structures and contractual agreements are, or will be, in place
  • stakeholder (including local community) engagement considerations to support the implementation of the project.

Why

Weighting: 20%

Demonstrate why the project is needed in terms of the:

  • need for government financial assistance, including any impacts on scope and timing if not funded
  • project benefit (for example, fills a processing capacity gap or a market demand)
  • economic benefit (for example, jobs growth and industry value)
  • social benefit (for example, community value and benefit sharing)
  • environmental benefit (for example, reduction in environmental impacts)
  • policy and regulatory alignment (for example, project outcomes align with the Australian Government’s agenda around waste reduction, recycling and soil health and Victorian Governments Recycling Victoria Policy).

How

Weighting: 20%

Describe the ability to successfully deliver the project.

Demonstrate how your project will:

  • deliver sound project planning to manage and monitor the project addressing scope, implementation methodology, timeframes, budget and risk management, including mitigation of health risks and possible project delays associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • use appropriate site considerations
  • achieve regulatory, statutory and works approvals
  • achieve the level and appropriateness of financial support provided.

Demonstrate the financial viability of the completed facility through the financial assessment and cost benefit analysis of:

  • level and certainty of the economic viability over the completed facility’s operational life
  • a strong monitoring and evaluation framework is or will be in place to track the performance of the completed facility, including surge capacity planning.

3.2 Diversity consideration

Sustainability Victoria may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that represent:

  • a geographical spread across Australian jurisdictions that addresses regional, remote and metro waste challenges
  • a diversity in project types (that is, innovative), especially those that increase resilience of markets and end product quality
  • consortium projects that address cross-jurisdictional gaps.

3.3 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. This assessment will include the Applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners and/or Project Participants (see Section 9: Program definitions).

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, Sustainability Victoria may assess that the Applicant’s breach poses 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 $10M minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5M minimum
    • WorkCover
  • have not failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by Sustainability Victoria 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 Sustainability V’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.

Sustainability Victoria 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 Participants agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at Sustainability Victoria’s request.

Sustainability Victoria reserves the right not to award funding to Applicants where the due diligence risk (including that of Project Partners and Project Participants) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

4. Funding conditions

Successful applicants must do the following.

4.1 Before starting the project

  • Projects gaining any necessary regulatory and planning approvals required to proceed to construction.
  • 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.

4.2 During and after the project 

  • Deliver the project as outlined in the application and comply with the funding agreement.
  • Contribute to regular project progress 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. 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 Sustainability Victoria has contributed funding in all communications related to the project
  • Comply with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 requirements (if applicable).

5. Timeline

Dates may change.

The below timeline is for this Fund:

Applications open: 23 October 2021

Applications close: 18 November 2021

Information session: 4 November 2021

Notification of outcome: March 2022

Funding agreements established: May or June 2022

Project completion date: 30 March 2024

6. How to apply

Before applying, we recommend you attend an information session.

The grant program is a competitive, merit-based process.

  1. Ensure that your organisation can apply.
  2. Ensure that your project is qualified.
  3. Read Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement. You must meet the terms and conditions to ensure funding.
    1. For grants more than $50,000 read the Grant Funding Agreement – Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund
  4. Read Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  5. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  6. Submit your application by 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November 2021. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances

Your application

  • Allow adequate time to plan, research, gather supporting documentation and draft 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

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 Investment facilitation

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

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

Read about our assistance with investing Victoria’s resource recovery industry.

Or email invest@sustainability.vic.gov.au for more information.

7.2 Information sessions

There will be an online information session.

The information session will outline the:

  • intent of the fund
  • types of applications we are seeking
  • application process.

Participants attending the information session will have an opportunity to ask questions about the fund and the application process.

A recording will be available after the session.

7.3 Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Email: grants.enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au

In the subject line, use the grant name Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund Round 1.

8. Why the Victorian Government is providing this funding

The Victorian Government has invested over $515 million to deliver transformation and reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling industry. This includes $380 million to stabilise and rebuild the state’s waste and resource recovery sector.

This fund is released as part of the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy. The policy will fundamentally boost jobs and establish a recycling system Victorians can rely on.

The Fund delivers on key Commitment 8 of the policy is to increase the use of recycled materials. This fund is a key component of the $30.46 million Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Package and the $76.9 million Industry and Infrastructure Development Package.

The policy has a target to halve the volume of organic materials going to landfill between 2020 and 2030, with an interim target of 20% reduction by 2025. As Victoria works toward this target, there will be a corresponding increase in the volume of recycled organics supplied to the market. To reduce the risk of market failure from over supply, we must increase the demand for recycled organics by enhancing product value.

The Food Waste for Healthy Soil Fund

The Food Waste for Healthy Soil Fund is an Australian Government initiative that will invest $67 million support the diversion of nutrient-rich household and commercial organic waste from landfill to soils.

This funding forms part of the $214.9 million commitment by the Australian Government in the 2021-22 Federal Budget to improve and protect Australia’s soil.

The Fund aims to increase Australia’s organic waste recycling rate from 49 per cent to 80 per cent by 2030.

Together with co-contributions from participating state and territory governments and industry, the Fund will leverage over $170 million of investment to build new and improve existing organic waste recycling infrastructure to divert organic waste into nutrient rich compost and soil enhancers. Funded facilities will increase the quantity and quality of recycled organic waste available for use especially in the agricultural industry.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

Funding allocated under this program will be delivered via the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund.

9. Definitions

Applicant

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.

Co-contribution

The Applicant’s required cash or in-kind 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.

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.

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.

In-kind Contribution

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

In-kind contributions should include the cost for activities that are directly related to delivering your project. Examples include:

  • 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 as 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.

Applicants must fairly justify how they determined the dollar value for in-kind contributions.

Not-for-Profit (NFP)

An organisation that provides services to the community and does not operate to make a profit for its members (or shareholders, if applicable).

Organics/ Organic

Organic waste diverted from landfill for the purposes of creating a recycled organics product

Project Participant/s

An organisation engaged by the Applicant to assist in the delivery of the Applicant’s project, including but not limited to major subcontractors, contractors, product suppliers and consultants.

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.

Related Entities

Entities which are related to the Applicant, including:

  • 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

Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Social enterprises:

  • are driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic
  • derive most of their income from trade, not donations or grants
  • use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission.

Related Person/s

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

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 Recycling Victoria Organics Sector Transformation Fund.