Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery Fund

$100,000 is available for projects that divert organics from landfill.


The Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund will allocate grants to divert organics from landfill through small scale organics infrastructure and systems in regional Victoria.

It is a $500,000 funding program to support regional development of small scale systems and processes to divert organics from landfill. A maximum of up to $100,000 per project funded will be paid out over two and half years to 30 June 2015.

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund is open to regional Victorian local governments, waste industry, businesses and government organisations such as hospitals and universities but excludes local governments and government organisations in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. Funding in the Gippsland Region is available only to rural municipalities not already identified in the Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery (BVOR) package.


Why organics?

The Victorian Government is providing funding support to organics recovery and recycling because of the problems organics cause in landfill and due to the lost resources resulting from landfilling organic waste.

In 2009–10, Victorians generated an estimated 1.9 million tonnes of organic waste (food, garden and timber). Of the tonnes generated, an estimated 70% was disposed to landfill. In landfill, the degradation of organics produces methane, leachate and odour, increasing the environmental risk of landfills and impacting on local amenities.

Recovering and recycling this organic material would provide a significant greenhouse gas reduction benefit, in the order of 300-500kg of CO2-equivalent per tonne of organics recovered. Further, a tonne of composted mulch applied in agriculture can sequester 25kg of carbon in soil and at the same time improve soil fertility and quality and assist in water retention.Such recycled organic products have been shown to have a range of applications in horticulture, landscaping and gardening. Energy can also be recovered from organic materials using different technologies.

This funding program has been developed to help overcome organic waste challenges and achieve positive results for organics management. This will be realised by supporting the development of small scale management of organics where there is a demonstrated need.



There is a $100,000 funding cap on all Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund applications.

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery Funding will be available up to:

  • 50% for government applicants
  • 33% for commercial applicants.

Funding will only be provided towards eligible costs.

In-kind contributions are accepted. An in-kind contribution is a non-cash contribution that can be represented with a monetary value. It is a good or service that would otherwise need to be paid for by your organisation. In-kind contributions can include employee time (e.g. salaries), donations of facilities and time (e.g. volunteers), services (e.g. a consultant), assets (e.g. a computer) or the provision of equipment and supplies.

Staff time can also be counted as an in-kind contribution when the employer is providing existing staff to the project. There is no GST component for in-kind contributions.

Only eligible Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund costs can be applied for.


Eligible Projects


Regional organics processing and/or recovery infrastructure, machinery and equipment

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery Funding support will be provided to:

a)    Infrastructure for processing organics into compost, soil conditioners/amendments or fertilisers, including upgrades to or new infrastructure, equipment or machinery to process organics.

b)    Infrastructure for recovering organics, for example, infrastructure to support source separation of organic materials.

c)    Infrastructure for the conversion of organics into heat, electricity and other co-products.

Conditions of funding:

a)    All projects must show they are diverting new tonnes of organic materials from landfill.

b)    Funding will only be provided for organics processing infrastructure where:

  • the processing method is effectively manages feedstock any biological, chemical and physical risks; and
  • the end product is of a suitable quality that prevents the spread of human and animal pathogens, plant  propagules and pathogens (such as pasteurised composts); and
  • the end product has a suitable market application; and
  • the end product complies with applicable regulations and standards.

c)    Any project proposal converting feedstock into heat, electricity and other co-products must source their material from sustainable sources.

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery funding priority will be given to:

a)    Projects and organics recovery equipment/machinery that maximises the increased diversion of food and green waste from landfill.

b)    Projects that produce end products of a sufficient quality that eliminates biosecurity risk, minimise greenhouse gas emissions and risk of odour or vector attraction once products are land applied.

c)    Projects that deliver the highest resource value, aligning with the principles of the waste hierarchy.

Education to support organics infrastructure

Education, monitoring and management of contamination have been shown to improve the success of organics processing infrastructure, machinery and equipment. Applicants requesting funding for organics processing/recovery infrastructure or machinery/equipment must include the following in their application:

a)    an education campaign to promote the correct disposal/collection/management of organic materials to minimise contamination. Education should be targeted at the appropriate audience (which could include households, businesses or staff using certain equipment/machinery) and must include details on how contamination will be minimised and managed.

b)    an audit and compliance program in the first year of operation of the new organics processing/recovery infrastructure or machinery/equipment to identify and manage contamination and other issues as they arise and to verify tonnes processed. (While funding support will be provided to auditing in the first year of operations, applicants will need to demonstrate how they will monitor and manage contamination on an ongoing basis.)


End market development

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery Funding support will be provided to dedicated programs to build markets for recycled organic products in regional Victoria, including:

a)    Engagement of specific markets to determine their performance priorities and to conduct performance assessment trial of suitable recycled organic products that target the expressed performance needs and priorities of the target market.

b)    Capacity development for organics processors, including market identification, prioritization and product development; and production management systems.

Education and monitoring to reduce contamination

Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery funding support will be provided to:

a)   education campaigns to reduce contamination in kerbside green organics bins

b)   pre and post audits of kerbside green organics bins to support and monitor the success of education campaigns.

Funding priority will be given to education campaigns that span across several regional waste management groups to maximise the opportunity for consistent education across Victoria.


Ineligible project activities and costs

Sustainability Victoria will fund a maximum of 50% of eligible activities and costs for government applications and 33% of eligible activities and costs for commercial applications.

The following costs and activities will not be funded:


Certain types of infrastructure or certain project costs, including:

a)    processing infrastructure that produces recycled organic products where there is a risk weeds and pathogens will be spread by use of the product  i.e. support will not be provided for mulching/chipping equipment unless the resulting mulch is, at minimum, to be pasteurised

b)    bioreactor landfills

c)    land acquisition, land surveying or permit application processes

d)    security and/or surveillance equipment

e)    costs to establish and connect utilities to the site including electricity, water and sewerage

f)     costs of equipment not dedicated to the project purpose (e.g. vehicles)

g)    project management costs associated with construction of infrastructure e.g. construction supervision costs

h)    contingency costs.

Certain studies/research, or training, including:

i)      infrastructure or organics collection service feasibility studies or research

j)      dedicated training programs.

Projects that fall outside the scope of the project, including those:

k)    based outside Victoria (Australia)

l)      based in metropolitan Melbourne

m)  relating to hazardous waste (including asbestos)

n)    relating to non-organic wastes (such as kerbside recyclables)

o)    relating to the management of organic waste in landfills.

Projects that have already started or previously received funding, including those that:

p)    seek retrospective funding for work already completed at the time of application

q)    have previously received government funding support

r)     commence (including ordering equipment) prior to the signing of a funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria or before some other formal approval is provided by Sustainability Victoria.


Expert Assistance

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund. The application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business plan.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

If you need help writing your Building Victoria’s Organics Recovery fund application, contact us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.

Applications close 3pm on Wednesday 3 October 2012.



    •  Building_Victorias_Organics_Recovery_Fund_application_form (540KB)
    •  Building_Victorias_Organics_Recovery_Fund_application_guidelines (680KB)
    •  Example_General_Funding_Agreement_Details_and_Terms_and_Conditions (233KB)



What is being funded?

There are two main components to the organics support package:

      • Major provincial centres – At least $2 million in support for an integrated targeted approach to organics management that includes state of the art in-vessel composting facilities, improved kerbside organics collection systems and market development in major provincial centres
      • Smaller municipalities – Up to $500,000 for organics management initiatives for smaller municipalities that fall outside of the major provincial centres.

How much funding is available?

A total of $2.5 million in funding from the landfill levy is available.

What is a targeted approach?

In this case, a targeted approach is a focus on the major provincial centres of Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, as well as major centres in Gippsland. Unlike previous funding programs undertaken by Sustainability Victoria, this component of the program is not open to all local governments across the state.

What about the funding for smaller municipalities? Who is eligible?

All local governments in regional and rural Victoria that are not nominated as a major provincial municipality will be eligible to apply for this funding.

How does the targeted funding work?

Sustainability Victoria will work with each of the targeted municipalities to identify opportunities to establish or optimise kerbside collection services and to establish organics processing infrastructure to keep organics out of landfill. To be eligible for funding targeted municipalities will need to meet best practice requirements, as to be advised by Sustainability Victoria, for both organics collections and processing.

What is the next step in the targeted funding process?

Once Sustainability Victoria has negotiated the funding conditions with the municipalities, the agency will enter into a contract with the recipient to ensure a successful outcome.  For example, where a municipality does not have a kerbside organics collection, Sustainability Victoria may provide financial support towards the cost of establishing the service, such as for bin infrastructure costs. However, the municipality will be responsible for any procurement or tender processes associated with either establishing a collection system or building organics processing infrastructure.

What is the timing of the targeted program?

It is Sustainability Victoria’s intention to engage immediately with the targeted municipalities to begin the process of negotiating possible funding towards organics recovery.

What is the timing of the small municipalities funding support?

Sustainability Victoria is in the process of finalising these arrangements. Further advice will be communicated shortly.

Which centres in Gippsland are eligible in the targeted program?

No decision has yet been made on what centres will be eligible. It will be determined following further negotiations with the Gippsland Regional Waste Management Group (RWMG).

Why is the Gippsland region included and not other regions?

This funding package does not exclude a focus on other regions in the future. The Victorian Government is committed to improving organics management in the state and this program is a starting point.

Why is the funding targeting major provincial centres?

The majority of organic waste is generated in major provincial centres, such as Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland municipalities, and managing organics in these areas will achieve significant reductions in organics to landfill in a cost effective manner. Further, because these centres generate the largest volumes of organic waste in regional Victoria, the return on investment will be greatest. For example, with large volumes of organic waste, these centres are well placed to better recover and process organics into usable products like compost, fertilisers and fuels that benefit the Victorian economy.

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