Council landfills

Program snapshot

Category: Bushfire Recovery Programs

Amounts: The program provides up to $15 million in two phases. First, it will provide eligible councils with landfill impact assessments, followed by up to $14.5 million in contestable funding for landfill infrastructure projects.

  • Phase 1: Impact Assessments (now closed)
    Councils that opt in to the program will be provided with consultants to assess, quantify and report on the impacts that receiving bushfire waste has had on their landfill.
  • Phase 2: Landfill Infrastructure Projects 
    Up to $14.5 million in funding available for Landfill Infrastructure Projects that restore or improve council landfills.

Councils must opt in to Phase 1 of the program to be eligible for Phase 2 funding.

Eligible bodies: NSW councils that have received waste generated by the 2019–20 bushfires at their landfill.

Contact: 131 555 or

Status: Phase 2 is now open.

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority


The Bushfire Recovery Program for Council Landfills aims to ensure that councils are not disadvantaged by accepting bushfire waste for disposal at their landfill, that local waste services are secure for communities and that the environment is protected.

The program’s objectives are to

  • scope and quantify impacts for each affected council
  • provide support and expertise to assist affected councils and landfills recover
  • deliver funding to councils to repair or improve their landfill facilities
  • ensure councils are not worse off as a result of receiving waste generated by the 2019/20 bushfires at their landfills

How to apply

Opt-in to Phase 1 of the program was a requirement for funding eligibility. Phase 1 is now closed.

Phase 2: Applications for funding in Phase 2 of the program will be open for eligible applicants who applied to Phase 1 from Tuesday 6 April 2021 until 5:00pm Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Application forms and assistance will be available on SmartyGrants.

You must have applied to Phase 1 of the program to be eligible for funding in Phase 2.

What if our landfill only accepted a small amount of bushfire-generated waste?

You can still apply. There is no minimum amount of waste for the program. 

What about bushfire-generated waste taken to a council recovery facility or transfer station?

The program only relates to waste disposed at landfills. 

What if we accepted bushfire-generated waste at our landfill from outside our LGA?

You are eligible for the program. All bushfire-generated waste, regardless of the source location, will be considered in the Impact Assessments.

When are funding applications open for Phase 2?

From Tuesday 6 April 2021 until 5:00pm Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Phase 2 opens applications for Landfill Infrastructure Funding. What sorts of projects are eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding in this program, you must have applied in Phase 1. The Impact Assessment will provide recommended projects to offset the impacts council incurred by accepting bushfire waste at their landfill.

Landfill infrastructure projects are limited to physical or digital infrastructure projects at the waste disposal facility following the receipt of waste generated by the 2019-20 bushfires. Projects must

  • improve or restore landfill operations; or
  • improve environmental performance of the landfill.

This may include works such as site maintenance, environmental controls, infrastructure for data collection or other facility upgrades.

Projects do not have to directly relate to capacity lost by accepting bushfire waste.

Is council guaranteed funding if they participate in the program?

No. Applications for funding in Phase 2 will be competitive and scaled on impact to each council. 

How much can I apply for under one grant application?

Phase 2 applications do not have a cap. However, to ensure affected councils are supported in long-term bushfire recovery, the EPA expects to award up to $1million for projects that meet the assessment criteria. 

Applications over $1million are allowed but must be extremely well justified against each criterion. In-kind contributions should be considered for these applications. 

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