Local Government Waste Solutions Fund

Program snapshot

Grant Fund: 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 2 applications have closed.

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority


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.


The $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).

A project must involve at least two local councils from the levy-paying area to be eligible for the 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. A project must involve at least two local councils from the levy-paying area to be eligible for the maximum funding limit of $400,000 (excluding GST).

Organisations who are not eligible to apply for the Local Government Waste Solutions Fund may partner with an eligible organisation to deliver the project and in doing so, benefit from the project outcomes. However, the lead applicant must be an eligible organisation.

Application process and assessment criteria

The Local Government Waste Solutions program guidelines (PDF 285KB) outlines the application process and assessment criteria. The guidelines should be read in their entirety.

Applications must be submitted to the EPA using the SmartyGrants platform. 

Applications will undergo an eligibility check before being reviewed by an independent Technical Review Committee (TRC) using the criteria set out in the program guidelines. The Community Waste Programs team is available to support pre-application eligibility checks. For assistance, email localgovernment.programs@epa.nsw.gov.au.

In addition to eligibility requirements, successful applicants will be required to sign and return a Deed of Agreement confirming commitment to comply with conditions of the funding. 

Future funding opportunities

One round of funding will be available each financial year from 2023-24 to 2025-26. Applications for future grant funding rounds will not be restricted to applicants that have applied for or received funding under Round 1.

Round 1 – now closed
Round 2 – now closed
15 June 2024 Application outcome date
September 2024 Round 3 expected to open
September 2025 Round 4 expected to open


Under Round 1 of the Local Government Waste Solutions Fund, NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) awarded just over $2 million to councils and regional waste groups in levy paying areas of NSW for 11 projects.

Organisation and funding amount


North East Waste


Northern Rivers Circular C&D

This project will undertake a number of trials in four centrally located councils to test the efficacy, replicability and potential of each approach. Trials include establishing gyprock recycling, improving tip shop design and salvage systems, working with commercial waste contractors to understand incentives to facilitate source separation, conducting a compositional audit of a transfer station and promoting awareness amongst tradespeople for best practice waste management.

Georges River Council


E-Waste and Extras - Community Recycling Event

This project will combine with the current quarterly E-Waste Drop Off events, to include more items that will be collected and recycled, including EPS, hard plastics, large cardboard and child car safety seats.

Northern Beaches Council


Towards a Northern Beaches Circular Economy Hub – the Leading Reuse and Repair Network in NSW

This project is designed to ensure the Northern Beaches is set up to be the leading local circular economy region in Sydney, focused on embedding systems to enable the community to reuse and repair as many used consumer items as possible. Funding will be used to undertake a feasibility study, run pilot repair initiatives, and prepare a study of key circular economy opportunities in the Northern Beaches.

Waverley Council


Pathway to a Circular Bondi Junction Precinct

This project will analyse the relationships between business, the community and Council to identify how a large metropolitan precinct can be transitioned into a circular precinct. This will include the establishment of a circular precinct working group, gathering baseline material flows data, conducting a circular economy precinct survey and trialling a materials exchange platform. Based on the data collected and trial undertaken, the project will deliver a circular economy report and roadmap for Bondi Junction.

Macarthur Strategic Waste Alliance


Saved from the Tip - A Feasibility Study

This project will conduct a comprehensive regional feasibility study in relation to the need for a tip shop and repair café and tool library (mobile or fixed) for the region.

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd


Advancing Circular Economy Procurement Guidance for Councils

This project will take the existing theoretical guidance and preferred circular procurement outcomes to provide a supported process for councils to implement through more detailed guidance. Councils will learn about the circular procurement models that exist, and document implementation barriers and challenges to be overcome. Next, the project will build detailed implementation guidance, training and template procurement clauses to provide councils with the resources to implement and detailed guidance on what to change.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation


Creating a Circular Ecosystem for Waste Wood in NSW

This project will bring together stakeholders and project partners with supply or demand needs for waste wood in a market matchmaking process, to facilitate the creation of a circular ecosystem in NSW. The project will undertake desktop research, seek formal engagement with stakeholders in a matchmaking lab, perform technical and material analysis, and develop a business case and evaluation report of the lab process.

Hunter Joint Organisation


Hunter Circular Knowledge Hub

The project will create and pilot a digital circular knowledge hub for two distinct user groups – for council staff, and for the community at large. The aim is to address the information accessibility and knowledge barriers that prevail and frustrate uptake of circular services and recovery pathways in the region.

Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of councils


Re-tread: Bicycle Re-distribution and Recovery

This project will increase access to bicycle repair and reuse to ensure that bikes are given are second life, dismantled for spare parts and recycled as a last resort. There will be a focus on establishing a lasting network of community, program and business partners to scale bike recovery.

Lismore City Council


Circular Economy Hub Feasibility Study

This project will help Lismore 'build back better' after the February 2022 Natural Disaster and stimulate the Lismore economy through the creation of jobs, new small to medium scale circular economy initiatives and social enterprise. The project will develop a detailed feasibility study of a 'hub and spoke' regional circular economy hub within Lismore LGA.

Maitland City Council


Circular Economy Hub Feasibility Study

A circular economy hub aims to address the gap in circular economy initiatives in Maitland by providing upcycling, reuse, repair and sharing facilities which align with Council services. The feasibility study provides the opportunity to maximise the circular economy outcomes and implementation of a sustainable facility. A key component of the feasibility study includes the development of relationships and partnerships with businesses, charities, social enterprises, and community groups, to maximise the success of the project and shared value to the community.

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.