Waste Minimisation Fund eligibility and assessment criteria

Criteria your project will be assessed against when you apply for funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund.

Read the gazetted criteria for the Waste Minimisation Fund [New Zealand Gazette website]

Overview of assessment criteria

Overview of eligibility criteria

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) is to boost New Zealand’s performance in waste minimisation.

Your project should benefit New Zealand and/or New Zealanders and not primarily your organisation, existing business or non-New Zealand interests. 

2. Scope

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. 

The scope of the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) 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
  • the design of targeted product stewardship schemes to promote and achieve waste minimisation in line with the Ministry for the Environment’s strategic priorities.

3. Beyond business as usual

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.

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.

4. Time bound

Projects should be for a 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 

Funding can be for operational or capital expenditure necessary to deliver a successful project.

Co-funding: The fund will not cover the entire cost of the project. Applicants should secure funding from other sources (co-funding). Note that in-kind funding is not co-funding. Co-funding is defined as direct financial support. 

Your funding contribution cannot be sourced from other Crown funding. However, exceptions may arise for community-based applications that have secured territorial authority co-funding.

Feasibility or scoping studies: The minimum grant for feasibility or scoping studies will be $10,000.00. The minimum grant for other projects will be $50,000.00.

Maximum grants: Applications for the 2020 funding round that request WMF funds over $3 million per application are unlikely to be approved. 

Alternative funding streams: 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 WMF. (See www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding for more information).

6. Legal entity

The applicant must be a legal entity and not an individual. 

Overview of assessment criteria for 2020 funding round

1. Strategic alignment

To support 10 to 20 organisations in the waste minimisation sector over the medium to long term to complement (not duplicate) COVID-19 economic stimulus packages.

Note: Projects requiring more than $3M WMF funding are unlikely to be considered this year

Does your project support one or more of the 2020 investment signals?

  1. Support services in the waste minimisation sector, especially those that can provide services essential to economic recovery and additional employment opportunities during the COVID-19 recovery period (for example, food recovery and distribution; and recycling services).
  2. Support existing waste minimisation businesses and organisations to increase their efficiency and/or expand their operations in achieving and promoting waste minimisation (for example product stewardship).
  3. Support previously funded WMF projects and well-established legal entities that can deliver measurable impacts to the waste minimisation sector in the next 12 to 18 months.  

Note: Projects must promote or achieve waste minimisation. New organisations established since COVID-19 restrictions began are unlikely to be considered.

2. Benefits

What net benefits will your project achieve?
Preference will be given to projects that collectively give the largest net benefit over time. The assessment of the effectiveness of the projects will include the extent 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. Strategic value

What is your project’s strategic value?

Strategic value means the likely ability of projects to act as ‘catalysts that enhance and extend the uptake of waste minimisation’.

Projects will be assessed for their strategic value in achieving and promoting waste minimisation.

4. Waste disposal levy

Does your project promote recommendations of the review of the waste disposal levy?

The Ministry for the Environment will consider 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 [New Zealand Legislation website].

5. Partnerships and collaboration

What partnerships and collaboration will your project achieve and promote?

The degree of partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration will be considered when your project is assessed for the strategic value of its proposals.

6. Funding – co-investment

What funding has been secured from other sources?

A shared funding model is preferred because it exhibits partnership support and subsequent investment in the project.

7. Project Delivery

7.1 Ability to deliver

Does your organisation have the ability to deliver a successful project?

Clearly outline in your proposal your organisation’s ability to successfully deliver the project’s stated benefits. The Ministry for the Environment recommends you ensure your application shows the following points

  • Your organisation has undertaken a clear process to determine:
    • that what the project requires to ensure success is already in place
    • what project requirements remain outstanding but that will be ready in time for the project to start
    • what issues are yet to be addressed that may delay starting, for example: trademarks, permits, consents.
  • The project team, including the project manager, has the appropriate and relevant skills and experience to deliver success.
  • How the project will actually achieve its goals.
  • How the effectiveness of the project will be monitored, evaluated and reported to the Ministry for the Environment.
  • How the project will be used to promote waste minimisation to the wider public.
  • How the project will be self-sustaining once funding ends, especially if the funding is for the establishment phase of a longer-term project.
  • How the project will advise the Ministry for the Environment of the realisation of benefits once funding ends, because often benefits will accrue after project completion (post-project reporting).
  • Consideration to undertake a more detailed business case, if the total Ministry for the Environment contribution being requested exceeds $500,000 or more.

7.2 Governance

The level of governance required for your project will be commensurate to the level of funding requested, the complexity and duration of the project plan, and the ability to deliver stated benefits. 

7.3 Risks and mitigation

Your proposal must:

  • identify risks and include proposed mitigation 
  • show how it will monitor existing risks and identify new risks
  • state any significant dependencies (issues or entities outside of your control) and their ongoing management.

7.4 Budget

A comprehensive approach to providing a budget should:

  • give details of estimated project costs and funding sources
  • include all costs of the overall project, not just the costs you are seeking WMF funding for
  • be accurate in all budget calculations.