Business food waste partnership grants

Program snapshot

Category: Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy

Amounts: $4 million over four years to support eligible organisations to incorporate education or training into existing programs to reduce and source separate food waste. Grants of up to $200,000 will be available for projects lasting 2-3 years.

Eligibility: Peak bodies, sector leaders, councils and other relevant organisations.

Contact: organics.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au or info@epa.nsw.gov.au

Status: Open

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority

Aims

The objective of the Business Food Waste Partnerships Grants program is to facilitate peak bodies, sector leaders, councils and relevant organisations of the Commerical & Industrial (C&I) sector to work in collaboration with the EPA to reduce and source separate their food waste and work towards achieving the Waste and Sustainable Materials 2041 targets: halving the amount of organic waste sent to landfill and net zero emissions from organics to landfill by 2030. 

The Food Waste Partnership Grants is to provide funding to support the NSW C&I sector to:

  • raise awareness and empower food businesses with knowledge and skills in food waste reduction and source separation
  • food waste transition to food organics source separation
  • implement food waste best practices.

Funding available

The program will invest $4 million over four years from 2023/24 to 2026/27 to increase NSW business sectors’ food waste awareness and capacity to implement food waste recycling best practices and avoidance actions. Up to $200,000 ex GST is available for two or three-year duration projects.

Applications will be received in two intakes annually and must be submitted using the SmartyGrants platform. This timing is to be repeated each year for four years, unless the funding is exhausted, to allow peak bodies, sector leaders and relevant organisations to plan ahead.

Information session

 Email organics.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au for a copy of the online information session held on 27 March 2024.

Application form

Round 1 closes at 1pm on 19 April 2024. 

Two grant rounds are planned each year from 2024-2027, or until funding is exhausted.

Applications must be submitted through SmartyGrants

Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. By applying, the applicant agrees to and will comply with all terms and conditions in these guidelines and the Funding Deed template (PDF 714KB).

Costs of preparing and applying for the grant are the sole responsibility of the applicant. All decisions on the successful applicants made are at the discretion of the NSW EPA Chief Executive Officer and are considered final.

Applicants may also set up a SmartyFile account to allow team members to work together on SmartyGrant applications 

Apply via SmartyGrants

Guidelines

These guidelines can also be downloaded as pdf

Methane production from food, garden, and textile waste accounts for 3.1 million tonnes of CO2-e generated each year from landfills in NSW, accounting for 56% of landfill waste emissions. The National Food Waste Feasibility study identifies that the cost of food waste to the Australian economy is $36.6 billion a year. NSW produces 1.7 million tonnes of food waste per year with the hospitality, retail, and institution sectors sending the most food waste to landfill.

The NSW Government’s Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 (WaSM) proposes new requirements for large food wasting businesses in these sectors to source separate their food waste from 2025. The requirements aim to reduce organics waste in landfill, where it generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and instead create a clean stream of a valuable resource that can be processed into compost, used to generate energy or be converted to animal feed.

Source separating food waste from businesses also supports the NSW Government’s Net Zero Plan Stage 1 goal for net zero emissions from food, garden and textile waste landfilled from 2030.

The Business Food Waste Partnerships grants program will provide $4 million over four years to educate and upskill businesses and institutions to avoid, reduce and source separate food waste.

The Business Food Waste Partnership grants are complemented by a range of supporting EPA programs, including:

Applications are open to industry peak bodies, sector leaders, councils and relevant organisations  and eligible applicants must:

  1. be an organisation with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  2. be an organisation with an active relationship with the target audience in NSW
  3. demonstrate experience in project delivery with the target audience
  4. demonstrate the project is a new activity that can be incorporated into, or build on, existing activities, programs or other initiatives
  5. demonstrate shared values or organisational goals aligned with the NSW organics waste and emissions targets
  6. deliver education and communication that aligns with the NSW EPA position statement on what can be disposed of in Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) or Food Organics (FO) bins
  7. be submitted using SmartyGrants  by 1pm 19 April 2024.

Applications that do not satisfy these conditions will be deemed ineligible and will not be funded.

Waste assessment and advice may be included as a project activity, however the funding priorities are for projects that focus on awareness, education and capacity building. This aims to avoid duplication with other business support programs, such as Bin Trim.

Projects or activities that require funding to build a new, or expand an existing, channel or platform, like apps or websites, are not eligible for funding.

It is a condition of grants that they include a robust process for monitoring, evaluating and reporting about the success or failure of the project, including gathering supporting evidence.

Projects that receive the Food Waste Partnership Grants funding are required to provide a least three reports and the reporting is at the project start, mid-point and final report.  These reporting requirements are advised in the Food Waste Partnership Grants Guidelines for applicants under Reporting and Milestone Payments

Projects that are approved for funding are issued a Deed of Agreement that will detail the Business Food Waste Partnerships Grants project Activity Schedule (Milestones and Final Report). The Schedule identifies the detail of tasks to be completed in each Activity Period, along with the documents to be submitted with the Activity Report and the date for reporting. The schedule of activity reporting is set out in each partner’s Deed of Agreement and varies between partners depending on project duration.

Partners must submit their reporting using the provided EPA templates. Successful applicants are expected to participate in bimonthly Partnership meetings, coordinated by the EPA. The bimonthly meetings aim to creating a platform for partners to share experiences and lessons learnt, identify opportunities for collaboration and maximise their project success.

Grants of up to $200,000 will be available for projects lasting 2-3 years. Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement which sets out the payment schedule, aligned to activities, targets and milestones.

Broadly, funding will be delivered as follows:

  • 30% on signing of the funding agreement
  • 40% on submission of a mid-term milestone report that demonstrates the project progress and achievement of targets
  • 30% on project completion, demonstrated by submission of a final report detailing outcomes achieved, how the funding was used and confirmation of results

In addition to eligibility requirements, successful applicants will need to sign and return a Funding Deed confirming commitment to comply with conditions of the funding, including:

  • continue to comply with the eligibility criteria for the length of the grant agreement or pay back the funding
  • reporting as described in the reporting and milestone payments section (above)
  • hold appropriate insurance and public liability coverage for the duration of the grant
  • acknowledge the support of the NSW Government on publications relating to the project, in accordance with the Funding Deed; and 
  • invite an NSW Government representative to any launch or public event associated with this funding.

See an example grant agreement (PDF 650KB).

Key dates Grant stages

18 March 2024

Applications open

27 March 2024

Grant information session

19 April 2024

Applications close via SmartyGrants by 1pm

April 2024

Assessment process

June 2024

Applicants are notified of the assessment outcome

Bimonthly project catch-up

Reporting on project progress and collaboration with other grantees

2025

2nd milestone reporting

May 2026 or 2027

Projects completed with final reports submitted for acquittal

Applications will undergo an eligibility check before being reviewed by an independent Technical Review Committee (TRC) using the criteria set out below. The dot points provide additional information on the types of considerations relevant to each criterion.

The EPA Organics Unit is available to help applicants submit their application. Please email us on organics.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au for assistance.

Criteria Expected information

Supporting C& I sectors to minimise and source separate food waste (20%)

  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the objectives and targets
  • Demonstrate a strong and active relationship with the target audience
  • share similar corporate values or sustainability targets

Does the organisation demonstrate its capacity to deliver this partner project? (20%)

  • well established engagement channel to deliver project
  • leverage and build upon the organisation's ongoing successful activities and programs
  • demonstrate skills and capacity to successfully implement and deliver the project

Will the success of this partner project support NZO Business targets (20%)

  • clear project objectives and outcomes
  • the success of this project directly contribute to achieving NZO Business targets

Does this partner project monitor & evaluation plan support the NZO Business program plan? (20%)

  • a well thought out monitoring and evaluation plan
  • clear plan on how to conduct evaluations or mid-term reviews to measure the project success

Is the partner project is creating added value? (20%)

  • demonstrate a track record of successfully achieving the targets
  • a comprehensive risk management plan in place to effectively mitigate potential risks
  • demonstrate the ability to deliver value that exceeds what each partner could achieve individually

Frequently asked questions

Projects are defined by target audiences rather than areas. Projects can be specific to one LGA and/or industry or span different LGAs.
Yes, we plan to have two grant rounds per year until 2027, unless the $4 million funding pool is exhausted before then. 
Not-for-profits can apply if they have an ABN, demonstrate an active connection to businesses and explain how they will support businesses to reduce and recycle food waste.

Yes, if you can demonstrate your capacity to deliver them. You will also need to demonstrate how proposed projects differ from each other and how they target different audiences. If you are proposing more than one project, please attach full details for each one via SmartyGrants. Also, please be clear about how many projects you have capacity to deliver and place them in order of preference.

No, but they can work with clients e.g. peak bodies and supermarkets to deliver projects to their target audiences e.g. member organisations, staff.
By networks we mean organisations that hold regular meetings or training programs to inform, engage and train their members or target audiences including industry peak bodies, councils and education establishments.

No, but the funding is to support 2–3-year projects and the expectation is these will begin shortly after grants are awarded. You can apply under a future round if your project is not ready to start yet.

A monetary co-contribution is not required, rather, partners bring value to the program by engaging with their members and networks to promote best practice food waste avoidance and management.

Yes, you are welcome to apply under as many rounds as you like as long as proposed projects or target audiences are different to applications that have previously been successful.
You can find food waste volume by sectors at the National Food Waste baseline study. Please note applicants need to demonstrate their engagement with the target audience and utilise their existing networks to educate or upskills food businesses to reduce food waste and implement best practice on food source separation.
No, funding can’t be used to purchase equipment or develop new technology, but businesses can seek up to $50,000 covering up to 50% of the capital cost of small-scale, on-site recycling equipment through the EPA’s Bin Trim Equipment Rebates Program.

Yes, you can use your funding to hire staff, but your application must demonstrate how you will continue to deliver food waste education after the funding has run out.