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What is the Circular Economy Councils Fund?
The Circular Economy Councils Fund is a program to support local councils in implementing effective waste and recycling systems.
The Circular Economy Councils Fund supports Victorian local governments (Councils) to implement projects that will focus on: reducing the volume of waste going to landfill; increasing the volume of materials reused, repaired, repurposed or recycled; boosting local circular economy activity and jobs.
For the first 2 funding rounds grants were distributed through 2 streams:
- Stream 1: Feasibility and
- Stream 2: Implementation.
Round 3 is the final funding round and will not be divided into 2 funding streams. All applications will be via the one combined funding round.
The Circular Economy Councils Fund projects must align with one or more of the following objectives:
- Decrease the volume of waste going to landfill.
- Increase the volume of material reused, repaired, repurposed or recycled.
- Increase circular economy activity, stimulating local employment and economic growth.
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Round 3 will provide grants between $30,000 – $500,000 for either individual councils (including Alpine Resorts managed by Alpine Resort Victoria) or collaborative partnerships of councils.
All applications will require evidence of project feasibility or demonstrate the worth of additional interrogation of previous feasibility work. This preceding work may have been conducted through:
- previous rounds of the Circular Economy Councils Fund
- other sources – an existing business case, feasibility study or evidence of a successful similar project that your proposed implementation project can replicate.
Eligible project types are those that:
- focus on implementing Council supported Reuse (Tip) Shops
- implement eligible recommendations and/or actions contained within previously completed feasibility study or business case (attach evidence)
- have a high level of confidence (ie robust plans and staff resources) to complete the project by 30 June 2024 (attach evidence).
Funding will support projects that:
- facilitate local circular economy solutions
- collaborate with other Councils/businesses/NGOs in identifying and implementing circular economy solutions
- decrease waste materials being sent to landfill, including priority materials such as glass, organics, e-waste, plastics, tyres
- decrease waste materials being sent to landfill, including non-priority materials such as aggregates, textiles
- increase the volume of materials reused, repurposed, repaired or recycled with improved value locally
- promote the circular economy within their communities and increase local employment and economic activity.
The following costs are eligible for funding:
- purchase of capital items (e.g. infrastructure or equipment) essential to the project
- consultancy costs
- project management and staff costs directly related to the project
- marketing, advertising, promotional costs directly related to the project
- purchase of vehicles (e.g. front-end loaders, forklifts) where equipment is integral for the project to occur, and council demonstrates they are unable to proceed with the project without funding for the vehicle.
- further eligible business case development, market analysis, consultancy or contract work that has been identified in a completed feasibility or business case detailing next stages of work required.
- pre-construction (site preparation) such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works directly attributable to the project
- leasing of equipment directly attributable and deemed essential to the project.
- be located in and service Victoria
- meet regulatory or planning requirements
- be completed by 30 June 2024.
Eligible applicants are Victorian local governments (Councils) and the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board.
A Council or the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board can apply individually or as a Lead Applicant in a Collaborative Partnership application. They can also be listed as a Project Partner in a Collaborative Partnership (see section 9: Definitions).
Lead Applicants are encouraged to establish collaborative relationships with other Councils or the Alpine Resorts Victoria Board to support project delivery and maximise the project’s impact. Lead Applicants will need to clarify the nature of their relationships with other organisations and demonstrate their commitment to the project.
- have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
- meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements
- agree to comply with the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
- agree to comply with the funding terms and conditions:
- for grants $50,000 or less read the Short-form grant funding agreement
- for grants more than $50,000 read the General grant funding agreement.
Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. 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, you can withdraw your prior application by emailing us. Refer also to section 2.3 below on other specific grant funding programs.
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Applications close 31 March 2023.
The 2022 Energy Breakthrough event in Australia reached impressive sustainability milestones with the support of the Circular Economy Councils Fund from Sustainability Victoria. This event, which has a 30-year history, diverted over 3,500 kilograms of waste away from landfills, making it the most environmentally conscious edition to date.
A substantial amount of the event’s waste was successfully recovered and repurposed. Around 1,528 kilograms (23% of the total waste) were recycled, while 1,340 kilograms (20% of the total waste) were composted. Additionally, by introducing a reusable crockery system, the event avoided 633 kilograms of single-use packaging. Consequently, there was an impressive 82% decrease in the waste sent to landfills.