Food Waste Prevention and Diversion: Research and Capacity Building Fund
Food and other organic waste disposed in landfills produce methane – a powerful greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. Municipal solid waste landfills are responsible for almost one quarter of Canada’s methane emissions. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) estimates that food and other organics represent about 30% of the waste Canadians send for disposal every year.
Municipal, local, and Indigenous governments are in a unique position to influence food waste prevention and diversion behaviours at the community level. Continued research on waste prevention and diversion approaches is critical to implementing effective community level interventions that reduce the amount of organics going to landfill each year. Additionally, sharing research findings more broadly could lead to higher participation rates and reduced contamination in other communities. Municipal, local, and Indigenous governments are well positioned to lead pilot projects, research and knowledge sharing opportunities.
Reducing and diverting food and other organic waste to alternative pathways is an effective way for reducing landfill methane emissions. Help Canada achieve its aggressive GHG emissions reduction targets by keeping organic waste out of landfills.
Application window opens September 29, 2023
The application process is now closed.
Project proposals should target research and capacity building opportunities for reducing and/or diverting food and other organic waste from landfill. Project outcomes with the ability to be leveraged by others across Canada to support policy, program or project development are encouraged.
Funds will support 2 primary focus areas:
- Research activities, such as demonstration projects, pilots, and other research projects that will help inform program specifications and policy development that optimize food waste prevention and diversion
- Capacity building activities, such as the development of guidance resources and toolkits, and knowledge sharing initiatives that connect experts across sectors and disciplines to facilitate information exchange and skills development
The expected results of the funding include:
- Details and results from research studies and/or pilot projects, including resources or research papers, are shared publicly
- Increased knowledge around best practices
- Advanced partnerships and collaboration between local governments and stakeholders
In addition to the indicators listed above, applicants are encouraged to highlight other relevant and meaningful impacts.
Local governments, including Indigenous governments, are eligible to receive funding. Applicants must fall under 1 of the following categories:
- Domestic Indigenous governments
- Municipal and local governments
All projects must take place in Canada.
We are targeting research and capacity building projects that will inform the development and implementation of food and organic waste prevention or diversion interventions that contribute to long-term landfill methane emission reductions.
Eligible projects must satisfy 1 or more of the following criteria:
- Focus on research studies and/or pilot projects
- Provide publicly available results that may be leveraged by others
- Generate valuable insights and yield practical, evidence-based solutions that can be scaled to other regions and communities across Canada
- Increase capacity building, leverage collaborative partnerships and advance knowledge
Applications may include pilot projects and/or studies that work to identify and assess:
- barriers and challenges to increasing diversion / reduction
- opportunities and approaches for increasing participation and accessibility
- approaches to lower contamination, costs, and more
Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other stakeholders (for example, hospitality sector, school districts, academia) where possible.
Range of funding
Projects are eligible for funding up to a maximum of $150,000 per project (for its duration) and must have a minimum ask of $75,000. Projects must be completed by March 31, 2026.
There is no matching funding requirement, but applicants are encouraged to leverage additional funds and/or in-kind contributions from other interested project partners. Applicants are required to declare any and all sources of funding for the project. For all expenses, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the project shall be considered eligible.
Eligible expenses may include reasonable and properly itemized costs for:
- human resources, including salaries and benefits (directly associated with the project activities)
- consultants and contractors engaged to undertake project activities
- management and professional services (for example, accounting, audit, liability insurance costs that are directly attributed to carrying out the project, monitoring, legal or other professional fees translation)
- travel and field costs (please refer to the National Joint Council’s website for your province/territory kilometric rates)
- materials and supplies
- communication, production, distribution and printing costs
- equipment rentals and purchases, including research equipment and laboratory analyses
- vehicle rental and operation costs
- a reasonable share of overhead and/or administrative expenditures (for example, office supplies, rent) directly attributed to carrying out the project
Frequently asked questions
1. Evaluation of proposals
Each proposal undergoes a thorough evaluation to confirm that the project satisfies the eligibility requirements and program objectives. The evaluation will also review the applicant’s plan to meet the reporting requirements and expected results. ECCC may contact applicants for additional information or clarification on their proposal.
Application evaluation parameters will include review of the following:
- Relevance – Does the project target research and capacity building opportunities for reducing and/or diverting food waste from landfill
- Project feasibility – Are the project goals and objectives clearly stated and measurable
- Uptake and Collaboration – Does the project include collaboration with other partners
- Can others leverage the project findings
- Finances – Is the budget realistic? Are other project partners providing financial or in-kind resources
- Recipient Capacity – Does the applicant have the expertise and staff to successfully complete the project
Applicants invited to move onto the next phase will be contacted in January 2024. Please note that successful applicants will need to negotiate and sign a funding agreement before any funds are dispersed or any work commences.
2. Submitting more than one application
Interested applicants may submit multiple applications for different projects; however, there is no guarantee that one or all of the applications will be approved.
3. Eligible project duration
Projects may span either 1 or 2 fiscal years. Fiscal years are:
- April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025
- April 1, 2025 to March 31, 2026
Applicants may request funding for either single-year or 2-year projects. Total request for funding may not exceed $150,000 for the project’s duration, and all projects must be completed by March 31, 2026.
Points to consider
Single-year versus multi-year projects:
Consider the potential risks associated with entering into a one-year agreement with your project, versus the risks of entering into a multi-year agreement with your project, including possible impacts on the project work plan and the project budget. For multiyear agreements, funds are non-transferable between fiscal years, and must be spent in the fiscal year allocated.
Project proposals may have a higher chance of success if they:
- engage partners
- support the expansion or enhancement of organics diversion programs and services to increase accessibility for Canadians at home, at work, at school, and at play (for example, fairs, parks, and public spaces)
The Contribution Agreement, between the recipient and ECCC, will specify project reporting deadlines and will include the required forms. Recipients must provide regular progress reports, annual reports (for multi-year projects) and a final report upon completion of the project. The final report will include:
- the project activities undertaken and results achieved
- the project funding and costs, and the use of ECCC’s funds
- a description of outcomes with respect to the expected results
- a quantitative and qualitative description of the accomplishments/success of the project
- challenges faced and solutions found, information on results (negative or positive) that were not anticipated, and lessons learned
When you are ready to apply, submit your project proposal through the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). Accessing GCEMS requires applicants to create a GCKey and access the Single Window Information Manager (SWIM). Accessing the on-line application the first time may require 3 business days for a password to be provided. Ensure you sign up for a password through the SWIM portal as early as possible.
The application process is now closed.
Publications and resources
If you are unsure about the eligibility of your project, please contact us for clarification.
Waste Reduction and Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
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