About the Waste Minimisation Fund

This page explains the purpose of the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) and lists the eligibility and assessment criteria for the fund. 

The information in this section is for reference only.   Application forms, investment signals, gazetted criteria and other information may change for the 2020 funding round.

Purpose of the fund

The purpose of the Waste Minimisation Fund is to boost New Zealand’s performance in waste minimisation. There is considerable scope to reduce waste and increase the recovery of useful resources from waste. Lifting our performance in recovering economic value from waste also provides environmental, social and cultural benefits and reduces the risks of harm from waste.

This will require investment in infrastructure and systems for waste minimisation and developing educational and promotional capacity. The purpose of the fund is to provide some of the funding to ensure that this occurs.

The waste disposal levy provides the revenue for the fund.

Eligibility criteria

  1. Only waste minimisation projects are eligible for funding. Projects must promote or achieve waste minimisation. Waste minimisation covers the reduction of waste and the reuse, recycling and recovery of waste and diverted material. 
  2. Projects must promote or achieve new waste minimisation activity, either by implementing new initiatives or a significant expansion in the scope or coverage of existing activities.
  3. Funding is not for the ongoing financial support of existing activities, nor is it for the running costs of the existing activities of organisations, individuals, councils or firms.
  4. Projects should be for a discrete timeframe of up to three years, after which the project objectives will have been achieved and, where appropriate, the initiative will become self-funding.
  5. Funding can be for operational or capital expenditure required to undertake a project.
  6. For projects where alternative, more suitable, Government funding streams are available (such as the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund or research funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment), applicants should apply to these funding sources before applying to the Waste Minimisation Fund.
  7. The applicant must be a legal entity.
  8. The fund will not cover the entire cost of the project. Applicants will need part funding from other sources.
  9. The minimum grant for scoping or feasibility studies will be $10,000.00. The minimum grant for other projects will be $50,000.00.
  10. The scope of the fund includes, but is not limited to:
  • educational projects that promote waste minimisation activity 
  • projects that address litter
  • projects focused on gaining an understanding of existing waste quantities and composition, behaviour, or economic incentives, as a precursor to effectively reducing waste and/or increasing reuse, recycling, and recovery of waste materials
  • design of targeted product stewardship schemes to promote and achieve waste minimisation in line with the Ministry’s strategic priorities.

Assessment criteria

Project benefits

  1. Preference will be given to projects that help achieve the strategic outcomes  identified by the Ministry for the Environment from time to time (if any).
  2. Preference will be given to projects that collectively give the largest net benefit over time. The assessment of the effectiveness of projects will include the extent to which the projects can demonstrate:
    • likelihood of success
    • reduction of harm to the environment
    • reduction in the volume of waste disposed of
    • economic, environmental, social or cultural benefits
    • longer term benefits after the completion of the project
    • alignment to waste minimisation activities with outcomes consistent with the circular economy concept
    • consideration of climate change impacts arising from waste-related activities.
  3. Projects will be assessed for their strategic value in achieving the purpose of the fund. Strategic value means the likely ability of projects to act as catalysts that enhance and extend the uptake of waste minimisation.
  4. Consideration will be given to projects that are implementing one or more of the most recently published recommendations of the review of the waste disposal levy carried out under section 39 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
  5. The degree of partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration will be taken into account in assessing the strategic value of proposals.
  6. The level of funding from other sources will be taken into account. Shared funding is preferred.

Project delivery

  1. The applicant must demonstrate:
    • ability to deliver the project
    • how the project will achieve its goals
    • how the effectiveness of the project will be monitored, evaluated and reported
    • if and how the project will be used to promote waste minimisation to the wider public
    • if and how the project will continue after funding ends and become self sustaining, particularly if the funding is for the establishment phase of a longer-term project.

Strategic outcomes

You will note that assessment criteria 1 mentions strategic outcomes. Each strategic outcome is supported by a set of investment signals. The strategic outcomes are the ‘what we want to achieve’ and the investment signals are more specific ‘how do we achieve it’. 

Strategic outcomes and investment signals are intended to provide further clarity to the assessment criteria and together, they set the investment priorities of the fund. They do not limit the scope of the fund and each eligible application will be judged on its on merit.

Strategic outcomes for 2019 funding round

1: Move towards a circular economy in New Zealand
Investment Signals for Outcome 1
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration to create regional circular resource flows between and within industries
  • Re-design materials, products and services to facilitate repeated cycling of resources
2: Encourage product stewardship
Investment Signals for Outcome 2
  • Effective product waste minimisation and recovery through a better understanding of resource collection streams and commodity markets 
  • Improved tools such as lifecycle impact information and labelling to inform effective product stewardship schemes
  • Provide practical resources to inform supplier, retailer and consumer choices and encourage behaviour change
3: Build a more resilient resource recovery sector in New Zealand
Investment Signals for Outcome 3
  • Improve the quality and quantity of diverted and recovered material resource streams, where a demonstrated market exists
  • Improve existing public and private resource recovery services and infrastructure
  • Increase domestic capacity to manufacture, process or reprocess recovered resources into viable commodities or products
  • Waste streams in focus for this round are plastics, construction and demolition materials, food waste and fibre (paper and cardboard)
4: Develop a sustainable plastics lifecycle
Investment Signals for Outcome 4
  • Give practical, measurable and collaborative effect to  the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment 2025