Local Government Waste Solutions Fund

Program snapshot

Grant Fund: Local government and resource recovery, Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy

Amounts: $10 million over 5 years from 2023 to 2027

Eligible bodies:  Local councils and regional groups of councils in the levy-paying area

Contact: Community Waste Programs Team via email: localgovernment.programs@epa.nsw.gov.au

Status: Round 1 applications open 16 January 2023

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority

Overview

Transitioning to a circular economy requires a shift in our current thinking to do things differently. The Local Government Waste Solutions Fund will encourage this transition through supporting innovative waste and recycling solutions designed in collaboration with partners to achieve impactful projects with long-term outcomes.

Eligible projects must contribute to achieving at least one of the priorities and targets identified in the NSW Government’s Waste and Sustainable Materials (WaSM) Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan.

For the purposes of this Fund, ‘innovation’ is defined as the practical application of ideas that result in something that is new, unique or adds value to an existing solution that is scalable.

Local Government Waste Solutions projects can be delivered by an individual or collaboration of local councils, individual or collaboration of regional waste groups.

Projects may take several months to years to complete; however, all projects must be completed by end of financial year 2026/27.

Aims

The new $10 million Local Government Waste Solutions Fund aims to:

  • support NSW local councils, collaborations of councils, and regional waste groups in the levy paying areas to deliver innovative waste and recycling solutions to their communities that support transition towards a circular economy and contribute to achieving NSW Government’s waste priorities and targets
  • facilitate collaboration, knowledge-sharing and partnerships to assist NSW local councils to transition to a circular economy and have long-term impacts 
  • support local councils to share the findings and resources of funded projects.

Available funding

A project delivered by an individual council has a maximum funding limit of $200,000 (excluding GST).

A project delivered by a regional waste group, or a collaboration of local councils has a maximum funding limit of $400,000 (excluding GST).

Eligible organisations

The Local Government Waste Solutions Fund is available to the following eligible organisations:

  • local councils that pay waste levies in the regulated area  The names of these councils are defined by Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation.
  • regional waste groups of councils in the Greater Sydney, Hunter, and Illawarra regions, supported by the EPA Regional Coordination Support Program
  • voluntary regional waste groups in the RLA, supported by the EPA Regional Coordination Support Program.

Application process

Before applying, applicants should review the Guidelines for Applicants (PDF 217KB) to determine whether their proposed project meets project eligibility requirements.

The EPA invites interested parties to contact the Community Waste Programs Team to discuss their application for the Local Government Waste Solutions Fund to:

  • discuss your project needs and how they align with the EPA’s goals and priorities
  • clarify eligibility of projects or project activities.

Please note that EPA staff are not able to provide detailed advice or assistance on the content of your application, project details or budget.

Applications must be submitted using the SmartyGrants webpage. Round 1 applications open 16 January 2023.  View the help features on SmartyGrants if you require assistance.

Applications will be assessed and ranked by an independent technical review committee. Following the assessment and approvals process, successful applicants will be notified in May 2023.

Information sessions

The EPA will support potential applicants by providing information sessions with experts in early 2023 to help inform your project design. These sessions aim to equip attendees with a better understanding of circular economy, innovation and identifying partners to achieve high-impact solutions.

The information sessions will be held on 9 and 10 February 2023. For more information and to register, visit the SmartyGrants LGWS Fund page.

Future funding opportunities

Further rounds of funding will be offered through the Local Government Waste Solutions Fund in 2023/24. Applications for future grant funding rounds will not be restricted to applicants that have applied for or received funding under Round 1.

In June 2021, the NSW Government released the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 – Stage 1: 2021–2027 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan. The Waste and Sustainable Materials (WaSM) Strategy aims to change how the NSW economy produces, consumes, and recycles products and materials, and sets out a vision for transitioning to a circular economy over the next 20 years.

Local governments play a critical role in developing innovative approaches to waste minimisation as NSW transitions to a circular economy. As councils work directly with their local communities to address waste and resource recovery issues, they have a good understanding of the issues and are best placed to identify new and creative solutions tailored to their communities.

By working together, through knowledge sharing, mentoring, collaboration or partnerships, there is greater chance of having an impactful project and long-term outcomes.