Product improvement Program

The Product Improvement Program is now open to applications.

Applications for Round 1 closed at 5pm on Thursday, 23 August 2018.


The Product Improvement Program grants supports the NSW resource recovery sector to respond to changes in recycling markets and meet NSW waste and resource recovery targets.

The program targets waste generated by households (yellow-lid bin) and commercial and industrial premises (mixed paper/cardboard, plastics, glass, tyres, engineered and treated timbers, e-waste and plasterboard), but will give preference to projects that prioritise glass and materials affected by China’s National Sword policy; that is, mixed paper/cardboard and plastics.

The program supports co-investment in infrastructure projects that aim to do one of the following

  • improve the quality of recycled materials produced by materials recycling facilities to better supply local and international markets and reduce the amount of unrecyclable material left at the end of the recycling process
  • increase the amount of waste materials recycled in NSW and divert additional waste from landfill
  • increase in NSW the capability and capacity to recover and reprocess waste materials (with priority given to mixed paper/cardboard, plastics and glass)
  • increase the use of recovered plastics, glass, and mixed paper/cardboard in the manufacture of products within NSW


Individual grants of $50,000 to $1 million are available.

The grant will support up to 50% of the capital costs for equipment or infrastructure. Councils and not-for-profit organisations that are eligible under the ‘special consideration clause’ may be funded up to 75% of the capital costs.

Who can apply?

Grants are available to

  • materials recovery facilities
  • reprocessing and secondary reprocessing facilities
  • product manufacturers using post-consumer product in the manufacture of goods

To be eligible for this funding, organisations must

  • currently own and operate a facility that meets one of the following descriptions
  • a materials recovery facility that is licensed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or, if currently unlicensed, be in the process of obtaining an Environment Protection Licence from the EPA
  • a materials recovery facility that is currently operating under licensing thresholds, but the capacity of which is being expanded
  • a facility that reprocesses recovered waste material or plans to within the next six months
  • a facility that manufactures goods from post-consumer products
  • be one of the following types of organisations:
  • council (as defined in the NSW Local Government Act 1993), regional organisation of councils or other local government controlled organisation (or deemed to have the same local government function)
  • non-government/not-for-profit organisation (must comply with the ATO’s definition) with an established legal status
  • non-government/not-for-profit organisation (must comply with the ATO’s definition) without a legal status that are able to be administered by another organisation
  • company or partnership as defined under the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001
  • have a history of compliance with NSW environment protection laws
  • have a project that is permissible under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Business case advisory service

Applicants can apply to the EPA for support to help prepare their business case. The business case is a key component of your application and highlights the feasibility of your project. Use of this service is highly encouraged. Eligible applicants may apply for up to eight hours of support. To apply, please complete the Business Case Advisory Service Application Form (see Guide for Applicants and Application Form below) and email to

Information webinar

The EPA held an information session and webinar on 05 July 2018 for potential applicants, including local government, business, industry and not-for-profit organisations on three Waste Less, Recycle More grants programs.

The session introduced the Product Improvement Program and the revisions to the Civil Construction Market and Circulate Programs.

The session also provides an update on the EPA’s response to China’s National Sword Policy.

Segment times:
00:00 – 18:06     Introduction & update on EPA’s response to China’s National Sword policy
18:10 – 36:45     Circulate (Industrial Ecology Program)
36:46 – 50:31     Civil Construction Market Program
50:34 – 1:55:05  Product Improvement Program

Guide for Applicants and Application Forms

Before you begin, applicants must read the Guide for Applicants.

Applications close at 5pm on Thursday, 23 August 2018.

More information

For more information contact the Waste and Recycling Infrastructure Unit by phone on (02) 9995 6920 or email

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