Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund

Last updated: 12 September 2022
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Status: Applications closing soon
Closing date: Tuesday 27 September 2022, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Each project can receive a grant between $50,000 and $500,000.
Co-contribution:

$1:$3 (SV:Applicant). Exception: $1:$2 (SV:Applicant) for local governments.

Co-contributions must be financial (cash). In-kind contributions are not permitted in this Fund.

Available to: Businesses, Local government
Prior to 1 July 2022, this fund was named the Recycling Victoria Recycling Modernisation Fund.

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is supporting industry and local councils through Round 3 of the Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund, which aims to build the capacity, capability and resilience of Victoria’s resource recovery sector, support businesses to respond to the national export ban on waste materials, increase the quality of materials for manufacturing and create jobs in the circular economy.

This grant is co-funded through the Victorian government’s circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy and the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.

Previous rounds of this fund were delivered under a different name, Recycling Victoria - Recycling Modernisation Fund. On 1 July 2022, this name of this fund was changed to Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund.

The following are the guidelines for applying for this fund.

Information bulletin

Find out more in the Information bulletin.

1. Fund overview

1.1 Fund objectives

Projects must meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • improve recycling outcomes by addressing critical infrastructure gaps in Australia’s waste management and resource recovery system including addressing Australia's regional and rural waste challenges
  • increase the capacity for domestic reprocessing and manufacturing of materials affected by the national waste export ban, container deposit system and Victoria’s kerbside reform transition
  • increase the recovery and local reprocessing of the priority materials paper, cardboard, plastic and tyres
  • manage the priority materials in line with the waste hierarchy and export ban (excluding glass)
  • increase the use and market demand of recovered materials in manufacturing 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.

The Fund aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • 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 technologies and processes that provide new or improved recycling and manufacturing solutions.

1.2 Funding available

Grants of between $50,000 and $500,000 (ex. GST) are available per project.

1.3 Co-contribution

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

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

Co-contribution must relate to eligible project costs as described in item 2.3 below. Note that in-kind contributions cannot be included in the Applicant’s co-contribution.

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

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply

Eligible organisations must be one of the following organisation types:

  • Australian businesses and local government that have existing reprocessing and/or remanufacturing facilities in Victoria.
  • Eligible Applicants may be consortia, however SV will only contract with one organisation. The consortium must name a lead partner who will enter into a funding agreement with SV (usually the partner purchasing the infrastructure). The consortium must be established at the date of application.

Applicants must:

  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been operating in Australia for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date (to be validated by the date that the organisation’s ABN is active from)
  • be able to demonstrate financial viability to undertake the project (will meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements)
  • agree to comply with the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
  • agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the General grant funding agreement.

Applicants who do not agree with the Grant Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions will be asked to provide full details of proposed amendments that would render the contractual provision acceptable to the Applicant in the SmartyGrants application form. Applicants should note that significant or substantive variations will not be viewed favourably unless the Applicant is able to demonstrate the necessity for such variations. Should Applicants be successful, no further amendments to SV’s standard terms and conditions will be considered beyond the variations included in the application form.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. Although you can apply for more than one 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 or suitable, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.

2.2 Who cannot apply

Individuals, non-government organisations, unincorporated entities and social enterprises are not eligible for funding.

2.3 What will be funded

Funding will support projects activities that:

  • meet one or more of the fund objectives
  • increase processing capability and capacity to improve quality of materials for re-manufacture and/or use of one or more of the following materials subject to the national waste export ban:
    • mixed plastics that are not of a single resin/polymer type and/or further sorting, cleaning and processing is required before use in manufacturing
    • single resin/polymer plastics that have not been reprocessed (e.g. cleaned and baled PET bottles)
    • mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard
    • all whole used tyres or in pieces larger than 150 mm, including baled tyres, but not including bus, truck and aviation tyres exported for retreading to a verified retreading facility.

Project types:

  • Purchase, install and commission new equipment or technology or upgrade existing facilities to increase domestic reprocessing capacity and/or increase use of recycled content in manufacturing and/or infrastructure.

Project costs:

  • Capital purchases (e.g. infrastructure or equipment including mobile equipment to process materials on-site. Mobile equipment must remain in Victoria except for repair or servicing interstate).
  • Construction of buildings to house recycling infrastructure (from the laying of a slab to commissioning).

Funding will support projects that meet one or more of the fund objectives and focus on increasing processing capability and capacity to improve quality of materials for re-manufacture and/or use of one or more of the following materials subject to the national waste export ban:

Projects must:

  • be located in and service Victoria
  • source 50% or more of the project feedstock (materials) from Victorian sources
  • meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • be commissioned and operational by 1 June 2024
  • demonstrate market supply of the material feedstocks and demand for the processed products. Applications with secured feedstock and end markets will be assessed more favourably by the assessment panel.

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

The following project activities, types and costs are ineligible for funding:

Project activities:

  • Projects that focus on materials not listed in this guideline (or listed as exclusions) and the following types of tyres:
    • passenger, sports utility vehicle (SUV), bus, truck and aviation tyres exported for re-treading to a verified re-treading facility
    • tyres that have been processed into crumbs, buffings, granules or shreds (less than 150 mm)
    • tyres that have been processed into tyre-derived fuel
    • tyres for reuse as a second-hand tyre.
  • Projects that focus on waste to energy solutions.
  • Projects that seek to extend capacity for receipt and/or sorting only of unsorted materials, for example infrastructure for transfer stations or materials recovery facilities.

Project types:

  • Projects that do not meet the eligibility criteria of the grants funding
  • Projects that do not clearly demonstrate a need for government support
  • Projects that are being undertaken solely in order to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order
  • Projects that have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources
  • Projects that do not meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • Requests for retrospective funding, where projects are completed or have commenced installation prior to signing a funding agreement with SV. Note: Infrastructure equipment may be purchased prior to signing a funding agreement to accommodate shipping and delivery time and prevent delays in completing the project at Applicant’s own risk.
  • Requests for retrospective funding, where projects are completed or have commenced installation or construction of infrastructure prior to signing a funding agreement with SV.

Project costs:

  • In-kind contributions
  • Requests for assistance in managing cash flow
  • Lease or purchase of land
  • Permit, licensing, or approval costs
  • Routine or cyclical maintenance works
  • Security such as fences, cameras, and alarm systems
  • Repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire, or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance
  • Operating costs (e.g. staff costs – such as salaries – electricity, water and other utilities)
  • Consultancy or project management costs
  • Marketing, advertising, or promotional costs
  • Purchase of vehicles (e.g. front-end loaders, forklifts)
  • Business case development, feasibility studies, consultancy or contract work
  • Pre-construction (site preparation) such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works
  • Costs of equipment not dedicated to the project purpose (e.g. establishment of an office including the building and fit out)
  • Research, development and demonstration
  • Leasing of equipment
  • Travel, conferences, training and other educational activities
  • Contingency costs
  • Fuel costs.

3. Assessment process

3.1 Assessment criteria

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

What

Weighting: 40%

Demonstrate your project will meet one or more of the objectives of the fund:

  • improve recycling outcomes by addressing critical infrastructure gaps in Australia’s waste management and resource recovery system including, where possible, addressing Australia's regional and rural waste challenges 
  • increase the capacity for domestic reprocessing and manufacturing of materials affected by the National Waste Export Ban, Container Deposit Scheme and Victoria’s kerbside transition 
  • increase the recovery and local reprocessing of priority materials (including paper, cardboard, plastic, and tyres)
  • manage those materials in line with the waste hierarchy and export ban (excluding glass)
  • 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.

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.

Demonstrate how the project supports the circular economy.

Demonstrate the impact the project will have on capacity requirements resulting from the anticipated impacts of the waste export ban on materials (excluding glass). Projects that significantly increase capacity to recover export waste ban.

Who

Weighting: 20%

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

Why

Weighting: 10%

Describe why the project is needed by demonstrating:

  • the need for government financial assistance, including any impacts on scope and timing if not funded
  • economic benefit (including value for money for Victorians and potential leveraged funding)
  • social benefit
  • environmental benefit
  • policy and regulatory alignment.

How

Weighting: 30%

Demonstrate viability to successfully deliver the project including:

  • feasibility to deliver milestones within the timeframe
  • appropriate site considerations
  • regulatory, statutory and works approvals will be achieved
  • risk identification and appropriate mitigation measures.

Financial viability demonstrated:

  • maximises public value and private sector co-investment
  • the level and appropriateness of financial support provided.

3.2 Diversity consideration

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

  • a geographical spread across Victorian regions
  • spread across industries and types of Applicants
  • a mix of project types:
    • projects that increase sector diversity and resilience to markets
    • projects represent a spread across material streams.

3.3 Due diligence checks

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic, safety 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 such as:
    • Public liability $10 million minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5 million minimum (if required)
    • 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 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 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 approved for funding must do the following.

4.1 Before starting the project

  • Participate in an inception meeting to discuss their project and the 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.

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 and the Australian Government have contributed funding in all communications related to the project.

5. Timeline

Dates may change.

We will provide Applicants with updates as much as possible and when necessary.

Applications open: Tuesday 16 August 2022

Applications close: 11:59 pm Tuesday 27 September 2022

Information session: Tuesday 30 August 2022 10:00 to 11:00 am

Notification of outcome: January 2023 to be confirmed

Funding agreements established: February 2023 to be confirmed

Projects commenced by: February 2023 to be confirmed

Project completed by: 1 June 2024

6. How to apply

Before applying, we recommend you attend an information session.

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 Sustainability Victoria’s Investment Facilitation Service.
  4. Read Sustainability Victoria’s General grant funding agreement. You must meet the terms and conditions to ensure funding.
  5. Read Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  6. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  7. Submit your application by 11:59 pm Tuesday 27 September 2022. 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 lose 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 sessions

There will be one information session.

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

Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022

Time: 10:00 to 11:00 am

Register: Registration link available soon.

Read the information bulletin

Answers to questions we receive 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.

7.2 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: Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund.

7.3 Investment facilitation

We recommend Applicants engage with Sustainability Victoria’s 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.

Investment facilitation support services is separate and removed from the panel evaluation scoring process. Use of this service does not guarantee any level of success with any application.

8. Why this funding is being provided

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.

Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund provides joint Australian and Victorian government funding for recycling infrastructure will build the capacity, capability and resilience of Victoria’s resource recovery system, support businesses to respond to the national export ban on waste materials, increase the quality of materials for manufacturing and create jobs in the circular economy.

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.

Victorian Government funding for this fund is released as part of the Victorian Government’s circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: a new economy and its $380 million commitment, which will fundamentally boost jobs and establish a recycling system Victorians can rely on.

Applications will be assessed in consultation with the Australian Government.

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. Applicants must be legally constituted organisations and with a current ABN that has been active for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date.

Business

A commercial enterprise seeking to generate profit through its activities, including Social Enterprises.

Co-contribution

The Applicant’s required cash or in-kind contribution to the total project income.

Collaborative Partnership

A relationship established between a Lead Applicant and Project Partner/s for the purposes of meeting common project objectives and outcomes. Collaborative Partnerships 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.

Construction Jobs

The number of construction jobs created directly by the project during the building/construction phase.

Direct Jobs - Ongoing

Actual new full-time positions created by your business as a result of the project for a period of 12 months or more. This can include training or upskilling of employees who would otherwise be made redundant through the implementation of your project.

Direct Jobs - Short-term

Actual new full-time positions created by your business as a result of the project, for a period of less than 12 months. 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.

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 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
  • 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
  • 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. In-kind contributions do not count towards the Applicant co-contribution for this Fund.

Lead Applicant

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 under 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.

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 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. A formal agreement between the partners that outlines the governance, financial and intellectual property arrangements as well as the roles and responsibilities of each party should be provided with your application.

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.

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

Please note that we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the email subject line, use the grant name: Victorian Circular Economy Recycling Modernisation Fund