California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Questions and Answers: Organics Grant Program (FY 2014/15)

The question and answer period is now closed for this grant cycle. All questions and answers are posted on this site.

The application due date was revised on May 16, 2014. The former due date is in strikeout and the new one is in green highlight.

Questions about the Organics Grant Program grant application were accepted in writing only, no later than May 27, 2014. Similar or related questions were grouped together or reworded for clarity and responded to as one question.

General

  1. What date should applicants anticipate receiving a Notice to Proceed letter upon award of a grant?
    CalRecycle staff is anticipating all Notice to Proceed letters to be sent to all awarded applicants by September 2014.
  2. When is the application due?
    Applications must be submitted in GMS by 11:59 p.m. on July 1, 2014 June 10, 2014. Customer service will be available until 4:00 p.m. on this date.
  3. When can projects begin? What is the ending date of the grant?
    The anticipated term of the grant is approximately 5 years. The official start date for each grant will be stated in a formal Notice to Proceed from CalRecycle. Eligible costs must be incurred only during the Grant Term which starts when the grantee receives a Notice to Proceed from CalRecycle and must be completed by April 1, 2019.
  4. Previous documentation on GHG Reduction Grant Program, including the Request for Approval at the March 18 CalRecycle monthly meeting, said the plan was for the NOFA to be released in April, and that applications would be due in July, suggesting a window of at least 2 months or 60 days to produce an application. Today’s notice is being released on the first day of May, but says the deadline for applications is June 10, which is a span of just 40 days to prepare applications. Please explain the shortening of the period in which to apply for funds, including the fact that applications will be due before the state budget is passed.
    After further consideration, CalRecycle will extend the application due date from June 10, 2014 to July 1, 2014. Applicants will have an additional 4 weeks to submit a Resolution/Letter of Commitment and Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices Policy with a new secondary due date of July 31, 2014. CalRecycle staff would like to be ready to execute agreements shortly after the budget is passed to allow grantees the maximum grant term possible to complete their projects.
  5. Is the grant opportunity a two-year or a three-year project?
    The grant term begins on the date indicated in the Notice to Proceed from CalRecycle, tentatively November 2014 and ends on April 1, 2019.
  6. I am wondering about the correlation between greenhouse gas reductions and “Annual tons of materials currently being landfilled or used for ADC that will instead be diverted as feedstock for this project”. Do the greenhouse gas reductions have to come solely from the “new” tons? For instance, if a facility will receive 10,000 new tons but will construct an aerated static pile system for 50,000 tons, there are also greenhouse gas reductions from changing the management practices for the 40,000 tons. Can those be counted?
    Yes. The purpose of the program is to lower GHG emissions and reduce landfill disposal by expanding existing facility capacity or establishing new facilities. New greenhouse gas emission reductions from all aspects of the project, including new environmental controls, may be counted as long as the project results in an increase in the quantity (tons) of material diverted from a landfill and composted or digested. In this example, 10,000 tons would be the quantity of tons reduced from landfill disposal and composted and would count under the “Tons of Organic Material Composted, Digested, or Source Reduced” scoring category. With respect to GHG emissions, the same 10,000 tons would realize reduced GHG emissions because they are now being composted instead of landfilled (please refer to the Compost Emission Reduction Factor for GHG calculations). These GHG reductions would count under the “Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reductions” scoring category. In addition, if GHG emission reductions occur above and beyond those associated with the 10,000 tons diverted from the landfill, the additional GHG emission reductions can be counted under the “Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reductions” scoring category as long as they are described and accompanied with an alternative GHG methodology that is appropriate and includes assumptions and calculations. In this example, the alternative GHG methodology would need to address the incremental GHG reductions associated with the 40,000 tons being processed via aerated static pile system instead of static pile windrows.
  7. If an anaerobic digester feedstock is composed of 50% new tons and 50% existing, could the entire GHG reduction/benefit count?
    No. GHG emission reductions from feedstock already being digested would not be counted as they are already being realized. However, GHG emission reductions from expanding existing throughput of the anaerobic digester would be counted as these would be new emission reductions.
  8. Will you be able to answer questions fairly quickly or will you wait to post answers to all questions received on June 3rd?
    Questions about the fiscal year 2014/15 Organics Grant Program grant application are accepted in writing only, and must be received no later than May 27, 2014. All questions and answers will be posted periodically during the question and answer period and are subject to updates. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check the Q&A web page regularly to ensure they are aware of all program details. All answers will be posted approximately the week of June 2, 2014.
  9. Will there will be funding assistance available to small, progressive communities where the remaining divertable materials will be very costly to capture due to an already low volume waste stream.
    This is a competitive grant program with no minimum per award. Funding will be awarded to the applicants achieving the highest scores. Staff is unable to project how an individual project will rank until such time as all applications are received and scored.
  10. I want to confirm that CalRecycle will accept applications until July as was stated in the webinar even though your website states June 10.
    The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Organics Grant Program (FY 2014/15) has extended the application due date from June 10, 2014 to July 1, 2014. Applicants have an additional 4 weeks to submit a Resolution/Letter of Commitment and Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices Policy with a new secondary due date of July 31, 2014.
  11. For the grant application can you refer me to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction/Emission Factors accepted by CalRecycle to calculate the Greenhouse Gas reduction when diverting food waste from landfills using either a) Composting - open windrows, or b) Anaerobic digestion and using biogas to operate Cogen for power production
    The default emission reduction factors to be used in Greenhouse Gas calculations, if applicable to the proposed project, are:

    If the default factors do not take into account parameters specific to the proposed project to accurately reflect the Greenhouse Gas emission reductions, then provide an alternative approach for Greenhouse Gas emission reduction calculations using the best available data sources and methodologies. See the Organics Grant Program--Scoring Criteria for additional information.

  12. CalRecycle estimates that food waste is 20 percent of the waste stream, with approximately 25 percent generated from the residential sector. In estimating food waste diversion from a residential program what percent of participation do you assume?
    CalRecycle, based upon the 2008 Waste Characterization Study, estimates that approximately 15 percent of the disposed California waste stream is food waste and approximately 25 percent of residential waste is food. CalRecycle does not track participation rates for recycling programs.
  13. Is a tribal government allowed to partner with a for-profit tribal business? Are financials for both entities required? Or can the financials for just the tribal government enough? If composting will be done on tribal trust land is there a NEPA or CEQA required? The Bureau of Indian Affairs does the NEPA for tribal lands, are they allowed to do the California Environmental Quality Act as well? Does chipping of wood qualify? We do a lot of brushing for fire prevention that currently gets burned. Is the only way to receive these answers by checking the online FAQ? What is the new date that these get posted as the deadline just got extended?
    Two or more eligible applicants may join together to submit a Cooperative Application. In order for a for-profit business to be considered an eligible applicant they must be registered to conduct business in California. CalRecycle will consider the financials of all entities in a cooperative application when scoring applications. If a project is proposed to be completed on tribal land, no CEQA is required. As compliance is an element of the scoring criteria it is recommended that any applicant seeking to complete a project on tribal land submit NEPA certification in place of CEQA. Chipping of wood does not qualify. Yes, questions and answers are posted only on our website to ensure fairness to all interested parties. Tentatively, questions and answers are posted on a weekly basis. The Question and Answer period ends May 27, 2014. All answers will be posted approximately the week of June 2, 2014.
  14. Why are other technologies that can process the same organic materials with lower greenhouse gas emissions (such as clean thermal biomass conversion) ineligible for a grant program that is focused on greenhouse gas reductions, even though staff was aware of such technologies prior to deciding upon the final eligibility criteria?
    This grant program is focused on construction, renovation or expansion of facilities in California that compost, anaerobically digest, or use other related digestion or fermentation processes to turn green or food materials into value-added products.
  15. Why is composting of organics allowed in all cases, when, per the US EPA and several CalRecycle materials, processing of organics via composting only results in greenhouse gas reductions versus landfilling with methane capture in limited circumstances (i.e. food waste and pure grass waste)? The eligibility criteria should be adjusted to only support composting if the project support processed materials that the scientific consensus believes reduces greenhouse gas emissions versus the status quo in California of landfilling with methane capture.
    The compost emission reduction factor assessed the greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions associated with composting. Composting results in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is therefore eligible under the grant program. See Method For Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions From Compost From Commercial Organic Waste.
  16. What effect will AB 1826 have on projects ability to show greenhouse gas reductions for the state, and thus be eligible for the grant and loan program? Most greenhouse gas accounting systems will not count greenhouse gas reductions if they are required by law. AB 1826 will mandate certain organic materials to go to anaerobic digestion or composting facilities. As such, those projects would not be able to show greenhouse gas reductions, which is a big part of the eligibility requirements of the grant and loan Program. Would those project no longer be eligible for funding?
    Project eligibly will not change if AB1826 is enacted as currently drafted.
  17. What entity is performing a review of the projects greenhouse gas emission reduction calculations? How will these projections be verified over the life of the projects supported by CalRecycle?
    CalRecycle, in consultation with the Air Resources Board, will verify projections over the life of the project by reviewing methodologies, calculations, citations, and other pertinent information submitted by project applicants. Also, CalRecycle and local enforcement agencies can verify that a project is operating in accordance with its permits and Report of Composting Site Information.
  18. Why does the eligibility criteria limit projects solely to anaerobic digestion and composting and not allow all biomass conversion technologies that can show greenhouse gas reductions by processing organics to apply for funding?
    This grant program is focused on construction, renovation or expansion of facilities in California that compost, anaerobically digest, or use other related digestion or fermentation processes to turn green or food materials into value-added products.
  19. "Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover diverted from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes. "Does this mean that every year you need to divert more compared to the previous year?
    No. A project must result in new permanent, annual, and measurable increases in tons diverted. This can be accomplished by expanding existing capacity or establishing new facilities that increase tons diverted in comparison to the baseline year, not every previous year.
  20. Do you have an example of the "Final Progress Report and final Payment Request"?
    No, we do not have examples of the documents. The details of the Final Progress Report requirements and Grant Payment Request can be found on pages 7 and 8 of the Procedures and Requirements – Exhibit B.
  21. "As part of project selection, monitoring, and ongoing reporting, CalRecycle will consult with the California Air Resources Board to ensure that the greenhouse gas emission reduction estimation methodologies are as consistent as practicable with methodologies used in other AB 32 program areas." Can you share methodologies used in other AB 32 program areas?
    The default emission reduction factors to be used in GHG calculations, if applicable to the proposed project, are:

    If the default factors do not take into account parameters specific to the proposed project to accurately reflect the greenhouse gas emission reductions, then provide an alternative approach for greenhouse gas emission reduction calculations using the best available data sources and methodologies. See the Organics Grant Program - Scoring Criteria for additional information.

  22. We understand that there is no fund matching for this program. A project would require to have additional sources only to commence work on the project while waiting for grant payments? Or you always need to have additional sources?
    Applicants may use other sources of funding, including local, state, and federal funds, loans, other grants, and all other funding necessary to complete the project.
  23. Are there any requirements for permits for in-vessel systems that treat up to 1/4 ton of food waste per day? For units that treat up to 2 tons of food waste per day? For units that treat up to 12 of food waste per day?
    If the feedstock handled at the facility is a compostable material, the facility will typically be regulated as a compostable material handling facility. If the material is not compostable, then the activity will typically be treated as a transfer and processing facility, subject to the Three-Part Test and volumes involved. In accordance with 14 CCR 17855(a)(8), within-vessel composting process activities with less than 50 cubic yard capacity do not constitute compostable material handling operations or facilities and are not required to meet the requirements of 14 CCR Chapter 3.1, including permit requirements. Also, the facility may be subject to other local, state, and federal permit requirements. Additional guidance on how this type of activity is regulated is available at How Anaerobic Digestion Fits Current Board Regulatory Structure.
  24. Are there any requirements for permits for dehydrator systems that treat up to 3 tons of food waste per day? For units that treat up to 12 tons of food waste per day? For units that treat up to 24 of food waste per day?
    State regulations do not define dehydrated food waste any differently than unprocessed food waste; it is considered a solid waste and must be handled as such. State regulations require solid waste to be removed from business and residences at least once each week and taken to a facility designed and permitted to handle the waste. In addition to state requirements, solid waste handling may also be subject to local ordinances. Anyone using a food dehydrator should check with their local (city or county) government to determine whether there are local rules regarding solid waste handling and transport that must be considered. Incorporating uncomposted food waste into soil, or using it as mulch, is disposal. Only operations that meet all local and state requirements can legally dispose of solid waste. Food waste—including dehydrated food waste—can be a feedstock at a compost facility. In small amounts it can also be composted where it is produced. For specific requirements for on-site composting that does not require a permit, see California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 17855.
  25. Does the grant need to be for a 5 year period? Or can we do a 2 or 3 year grant? Does a separate budget need to be included for each year? Or can we just create one budget for X number of years?
    The grant does not need to be for the entire 5 year term. A budget should be developed for the entire project for which grant funds will be used.
  26. The Timbisha Tribe does not currently have an indirect cost rate, but we are working on that. Until then, we have a set percentage of admin costs we pay - which will be included in the budget. However, if we receive an indirect rate during the term of the grant (if we receive the grant), can we change that?
    No, we do not utilize indirect cost rate for this grant.
  27. Can we include a contingency fee for cost overrun on construction in the budget (like 10 percent)?
    Yes as long as it does not exceed the maximum award amount.
  28. Where would travel (i.e. to purchase supplies) and training costs be included on the budget?
    1. Is training an allowable expense?
    2. If travel for supplies is an allowable expense, how much supporting documentation do we need with that budget cost? (we are in a rural community, and the nearest town is 60 miles away).
    3. Where would Consultant costs be included in the budget?
    4. Where would fringe be included in the budget?
    Training may be an eligible cost if directly related to the project as determined by the grant manager. Training costs are also subject to the 5 percent cap. Travel should be included in your Administrative Costs. Travel should be done in the most efficient and least costly manner. Consultant costs should be included in Personnel. Fringe benefits should be included in Personnel.

Eligibility

  1. Are costs associated with the collection and transport of food waste eligible under the grant program?
    The purchase or retrofitting of vehicles or containers for collection or transportation of food waste is eligible under the grant program for a food waste prevention component. Also, for a food waste prevention component, collection and transportation support such as drivers salaries and fuel may be included as part of the 5 percent cap for permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead, and salaries not related to construction or installation as long as the project scope includes delivery of rescued food to people in need and tracks the amount.
  2. Would a project be eligible for the Organics Grant that will construct a new Integrated Waste Processing Facility (IWPF) to process MSW from curbside collection (black bin waste) that is currently landfilled? Because the waste is part of a three-bin collection program that includes recyclables and green materials, the waste in the black bin is heavy in paper and organics. The goal of the IWPF is to process the MSW and produce significant amount of organics that can be used as feed stock for composting and/or digesters. So it is an organics project that will result in new diversion of organics from MSW.
    No. In order to be eligible, this type of project would need to be part of an integrated facility that composts, anaerobically digests, or uses other related digestion or fermentation processes that turn green or food materials into value-added products.
  3. I’m just wondering if a program as small as our 3 bin compost set up at our local community garden would qualify for this. I imagine its way too small?
    There is no minimum amount an applicant may apply for. However, this is a competitive grant program and scoring consideration will be given to the total quantity of materials diverted from landfills and amount of GHG emissions reductions relative to other applications.
  4. The University of California, the California State University, or other public universities or colleges. Request for definition: a public university or college.
    The other eligible public universities and colleges are the campuses of the California Community College System.
  5. Can a food recovery organization apply for grant funds as a stand-alone project or do they have to be part of a joint project with the lead being a group, business, jurisdiction or other entity that is proposing a composting, or other conversion technology project?
    Stand-alone food recovery projects (i.e., food waste prevention) are not eligible unless coupled with a project for construction, renovation or expansion of facilities in California that compost, anaerobically digest, or use other related digestion or fermentation processes to turn green or food materials into value-added products.
  6. Please clarify the intention of the language regarding ineligible costs in the document ‘Organics Grant Program Application Guidelines and Instructions,' page six, bullet point five: "Costs exceeding 5 percent of the total amount requested for permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead, and salaries not related to construction or installation.”
    The costs associated with the proposed application pertaining to permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead, and salaries that are not related to construction or installation together shall not exceed a total of 5 percent of the grant amount requested.
  7. Does CalRecycle intend that all activities, labor, and materials associated with the components related to food waste reduction, community engagement, education, and public outreach on urban organic waste management shall be limited to no more than five percent of a total proposal funding request?
    Costs associated with the proposed application pertaining to permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead, and salaries that are not directly related to construction or installation shall not exceed a total of 5 percent of the grant amount requested. This also applies for a food waste prevention component. However, for a food waste prevention component, material costs, such as the purchase or retrofitting of vehicles, and containers for collection of feedstock are eligible.
  8. If an agency currently operates an organics grinding program, where the inputs are wood and mixed wood/green waste and the output material is sorted and kept out of the landfill, would that type of program qualify for consideration as it relates to this grant? The materials involved are compostable, however, all outputs are removed from the site prior to the onset of composting.
    No, because this project does not meet the following requirements: Projects must be located in California and result in permanent, annual, and measurable:
    • Reductions in Greenhouse Gas emissions from the handling or landfilling of California-generated green and food materials, and
    • Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover diverted from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes.
  9. I understand that eligible projects must result in reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions from the handling or landfilling of green or food materials and must increase the quantity of green, food, or Alternative Daily Cover materials diverted from landfills. Would a project that has a significant, measureable Greenhouse Gas reduction though renovation and upgrading equipment, but does not increase diversion of materials from landfill or Alternative Daily Cover disposal be eligible? The end result would be a measureable Greenhouse Gas reduction at an existing compost facility (which is the intent of the grant), but would not result in increased capacity or diversion of materials.
    No, because this project does not meet the following project requirement:  The project must realize “Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover diverted from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes.”
  10. The Scoring Criteria states, “The food waste prevention component needs to be a project that rescues edible food from becoming waste normally destined for landfills and results in increased food distribution to people in the community…” Would costs be eligible that are associated with educating households how to stop wasting food, if this education would result in no food being rescued or delivered to people?
    No. This is not currently an eligible activity under this grant program.
  11. Would a small rural community with a relatively small waste stream and high diversion rates that therefore has a smaller amount of tons of diversion be competitive in this grant?
    Yes. There is no minimum amount an applicant may apply for. However, being a competitive grant program, scoring consideration will be given to the total quantity of materials diverted from the landfill and the amount of Greenhouse Gas emission reductions relative to other applications.
  12. If a jurisdiction doesn’t contain a community listed on the CalEnviroScreen’s map does this mean that our application would lose all 10 points from the Disadvantaged Communities section of the Scoring Criteria?
    If a project does not benefit a disadvantaged community, then no points will be awarded in that category.
  13. Can the grant funds be used to pay the "tip fee" for the processing of green and/or food waste?
    No, the purchase of feedstock is ineligible in this program.
  14. I represent a company that has developed a thermophilic anaerobic digester system that is currently installed on a farm. They have an expansion plan that includes installations at 8-12 additional locations. Their unique approach to digestion results in a liquid and solid byproduct that is used by nurseries and farmers as a soil amendment. Would this type of project be eligible under the organics grant program?
    This project may be eligible if it accomplishes the following project requirements:
    Projects must be located in California and result in permanent, annual, and measurable:
    • Reductions in Greenhouse Gas emissions from the handling or landfilling of California-generated green and food materials; and
    • Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover diverted from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes.
  15. I am interested in applying for the greenhouse gas Reduction Organics Grant Program (FY2014/15). Knowing that the eligibility for the CalRecycle grant is only open for US-based entities, what is the criteria for projects such as ours where components of the actual anaerobic digestion technology is from outside the US? Is there a percent of participation of foreign companies with a cutoff percent? The project developers and the clients for the installation would obviously be US- based.
    There are no restrictions under this grant program regarding origin of purchased equipment. The business must be qualified to do business in California and in good standing with all applicable California state agencies, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board.
  16. My project is to construct in one case, and expand in another case (2 separate projects), anaerobic digestion of green, food and organics extracted from mixed MSW through the use of our proprietary autoclave technology. The most abundant biogenic feedstock to be digested is the homogenized fraction resulting from treating mixed waste in the autoclave (approximately 60 percent plus by weight) which includes mostly paper products and food waste. Will my projects qualify for consideration if the anaerobic digester is treating the organic fraction of mixed waste (paper and food)? The Notice of Funds Available suggests "green or food materials."
    Projects that result in increased diversion from landfills of California-generated green materials, food materials, or ADC are eligible when those materials are composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes. Projects that handle mixed feedstocks would have to account for the portion of their feedstocks that are California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover.
  17. Can you please confirm that a project that is partially funded by an AB118 grant is eligible to receive Organics Grant funds as long as the funds are designated for different eligible activities/costs?
    Yes. A project is eligible to receive Organics Grant Program funds even though other activities/costs are funded by other sources.
  18. Would construction of a demonstration project that will lead into a full-scale project in the future be eligible under this program? Both the demonstration and eventual full-scale project will involve both landfill diversion and greenhouse gas reductions.
    Projects are required to result in permanent, annual, and measurable: Reductions in Greenhouse Gas emissions from the handling or landfilling of California-generated green and food materials; and Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover derived from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes.
  19. What is the most accurate method of calculating the percentage of benefits apportioned on the Economic/Environmental Benefits and Impacts to Disadvantaged Communities form? By population, waste origin, or Enviroscreen percentile? Also, should we include all zip codes in our jurisdiction or just those with the highest percentile?
    If your project will result in economic/environmental benefits and impacts to disadvantaged communities, then the applicant needs to explain which communities will benefit and/or be impacted along with a description of the benefits and/or impacts as delineated in the “Economic/Environmental Benefits and Impacts to Disadvantaged Communities” section of the “Narrative Proposal” document. CalRecycle does not recommend a specific method of estimating the percentage of benefits/impacts apportioned to specific communities. A project applicant should consider all available information in estimating the percentage; depending on the types of benefits/impacts, it may or may not be possible to apportion them to specific locations if they are applicable to a region. Zip codes should be included for any community with direct economic and/or environmental benefits/impacts from a project.
  20. Is a water well considered an eligible expense under real estate improvement or renovation/expansion of facilities?
    This activity may be eligible if it is a necessary part of a project that accomplishes the following requirements:
    Projects are required to result in permanent, annual, and measurable: Reductions in Greenhouse Gas emissions from the handling or landfilling of California-generated green and food materials; and Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover derived from landfills and composted, digested or diverted to other fermentation processes.
  21. Is education and outreach (training, etc.) an eligible expense under the Personnel category in the budget?
    Costs associated with the proposed application pertaining to permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead, and salaries that are not directly related to construction or installation shall not exceed a total of 5 percent of the grant amount requested. This also applies for a food waste prevention component. However, for a food waste prevention component, material costs, such as the purchase or retrofitting of vehicles, and containers for collection of feedstock are eligible. Education and Outreach expenses can be entered into the Personnel category on the budget.
  22. If one of our member agencies does not submit a letter of authorization, should we not include them in the list of member agencies? We still need to include the tonnage from these origins in our calculations; is that allowable without a letter of authorization?
    To clarify, a Letter of Authorization is used for grants that allow for regional or cooperative applications. It is prepared by the Participating Jurisdiction or Participating Entity and gives the Lead Participant authorization to apply for and to act on its behalf in the implementation and administration of the grant/program. The Lead Participant must upload the Letter of Authorization no later than the secondary due date or the Participating Jurisdictions, or Participating Entities will be removed from the application. With respect to increased tonnage diversion from landfills associated with the project that is directly related to that jurisdiction, the applicant would still need to verify the origin of the material and that it had been going to the landfill as well as provide documentation that guarantees an adequate amount of feedstock will be provided to make the project feasible. This may include a signed contract, letter of intent, or other documentation which shows the feedstock will be available by the time the project is operational.
  23. There is a wood and green waste diversion project in the rural area of the county that is grinding green and wood waste material damaged by bark beetle and transporting it to green and woody waste processors. The operator may discontinue the project. If another contractor cannot be found to take over the project, the management of the project will fall on the county and the organic material will be brought to the landfill for disposal. Would this be an eligible project for Organics Grant Program for the department to acquire equipment to continue the organic diversion project, if the material is not currently being landfilled, but is destined for landfilling in the near future? Is it the intention of Cal Recycle to offer the Organics Grant Program annually?
    No. This project would not be eligible since it would not expand existing capacity or establish new facilities. CalRecycle would like to continue this program and will seek Cap-and-Trade funding annually.
  24. I understand that there is a 5 percent cap on administrative functions (accounting, insurance, etc) I am hoping to get a clear understanding on what eligible administrative functions are with respect to the grant. The application guidelines (page 6) indicate 'costs exceeding 5 percent of the total amount requested for permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead and salaries not related to construction or installation' are ineligible costs. In the Procedures and Requirements (Exhibit B page 4) it states 'The total of overhead and indirect cost in addition to salaries not related to construction or installation, permitting and public education and outreach charged to the grant shall not exceed 5 percent of the grant funds reimbursed.' Exhibit B appears to indicate that labor and fees associated with permitting are NOT part of the 5 percent administrative cap. Please clarify if the labor and fees for completing the following functions are considered part of the 5 percent cap on eligible administrative costs?
    • Permitting fees (building permits, Air Quality Management District permits, etc.)
    • Labor for preparing permit applications
    • Labor for reporting for permit compliance (ex: quarterly AQMD reports)
    • Labor for preparing quarterly Grant Progress Report
    • Labor for preparing quarterly payment requests
    • Labor associated with public education and outreach
    These costs would be included in the 5 percent cap.
  25. Please confirm that trucking/transporting of food stock to the grant project location would/would not be included in the 5 percent administrative cap on eligible costs. Our food stock would not be viable for human consumption therefor delivering rescued food to people in need would not be appropriate.
    This cost is not eligible under the grant program.
  26. Please confirm the following activities would NOT be part of the 5 percent Administrative cap:
    • Labor coordinating shipment and delivery of food stock (scheduling/coordinating delivery, coordination of loading/unloading of trucks)
    • Labor for overseeing and managing construction subcontractors
    • Labor associated with operating equipment to complete the project (like running compost turner, turning on/off operating equipment, adding feed stock to sorting machinery, moving feed stock around facility for processing)
    Costs cannot exceed 5 percent of the total amount requested for permitting, public education/outreach, indirect/overhead (including administrative functions), and salaries not related to construction or installation.
  27. Please confirm that design and engineering costs are NOT part of the administrative 5 percent but just shall not exceed 5 percent of grant amount? Would the costs to have a consultant onsite during construction be part of the design 5 percent, would it be eligible costs or part of the 5 percent admin cap? Would the consultant's travel costs be eligible costs not part of the 5 percent admin cap (assuming they do not exceed the state-approved rates)?
    All costs associated with design and engineering cannot exceed 5 percent of total amount requested. This 5 percent is separate from the 5 percent cap on administrative costs.
  28. We are looking to convert an existing negative aerated static pile composting process to a positive aerated static pile process using finished compost as a top layer bio-filter for emissions reduction. The plan is to take in green waste, biosolids and food waste as raw materials to compost them using said such positive ASP method. We plan to conduct a Research and Development pilot project to test and data collect to verify improved emission reductions of this positive ASP process for green waste, biosolids and food waste this summer and am inquiring to see if this would qualify under the eligible projects of this Grant Program?
    Research and Development projects are not eligible because they do not result in permanent reduction.
  29. The facility that is applying for the grant will be getting ‘new’ tons (approximately 30k) due to a new collection contract that starts in January 2015. However, they are not sure how these tons are currently be handled since it is a competitor who collects and processes the material. Do we have to figure out how the material is currently be handled or can we count all the tons as ‘new’?
    Projects must show an increased diversion from landfills of California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover. The applicant is required to demonstrate that the “new” tons are not already being diverted from landfills.
  30. The CERF calculation uses diesel processing equipment in the assumptions. We are applying for electrical equipment in the grant. If we use the CERF calculation, the total greenhouse gas reduction will be lower. Is there another way to add in the greenhouse gas reductions for the use of the electrical equipment?
    If the default factors do not take into account parameters specific to the proposed project to accurately reflect the greenhouse gas emission reductions, then provide an alternative approach for greenhouse gas emission reduction calculations using the best available data sources and methodologies. Include explanations and citations for all calculations to support the MTCO2e that will be reduced as a result of the grant.
  31. What percentage greenhouse gas reduction can I use if the compost operation goes completely to Aerated Static Piles instead of open windrows? Some reports say 98 percent reduction and some say 68 percent. Is there an approved percentage by the California Air Resources Board? If not, can I just reference a study?
    If the default factors do not take into account parameters specific to the proposed project to accurately reflect the greenhouse gas emission reductions, then provide an alternative approach for greenhouse gas emission reduction calculations using the best available data sources and methodologies. Include explanations and citations for all calculations to support the MTCO2e that will be reduced as a result of the grant.
  32. "Ineligible costs - food dehydrators and liquefiers unless coupled with increased tons of California generated food materials diverted from landfills and composted or digested." Can you expand more on this point? If you use a dehydrator and then compost the end product would it be eligible? How many tons do you need to divert from landfill? In which circumstance would a liquefiers be eligible?
    Yes, dehydrators and liquefiers are eligible if the material is then composted or digested, the project diverts California-generated green materials, food materials, or Alternative Daily Cover currently being landfilled, and the project meets other program criteria. There is no amount of tonnage explicitly required to be diverted. However, this is a competitive grant and projects diverting higher amounts of material than others will receive higher scores.

Funding

  1. Will grants be awarded solely on the basis of scoring?
    Applications will be awarded based on scoring. An applicant must receive minimum of 60 points out of possible 100 points to be considered for an award.
  2. Given the lack of funding certainty apparent in budgets currently under consideration in the Assembly and Senate, is there some consideration to providing another delay in the submittal deadline for grant proposals? Numerous small businesses will be expending considerable resources – which in many cases could be better spent on current efforts to divert organics from landfilling – on developing grant proposals over the next 38 days. From our view, it seems prudent to limit the cost impacts of grant development on these small businesses until the State Budget is approved, or at least there is more certainty in the process.
    No. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Organics Grant Program (FY 2014/15) has already extended the application due date from June 10, 2014 to July 1, 2014. Applicants have an additional 4 weeks to submit a Resolution/Letter of Commitment and Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices Policy with a new secondary due date of July 31, 2014.

Application

  1. On the Narrative Proposal, the amount of space is limited for my responses. Is it possible to either expand the boxes to add more information or to submit additional pages?
    The response size for each section of the Narrative Proposal is limited to 4,000 characters and cannot be expanded. However, there are two sections that allow you to upload additional pages, the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions section and the Supplemental Information section. Utilizing a document form other than the official CalRecycle version, tampering with the CalRecycle version or otherwise circumventing imposed character limits will subject the applicant to disqualification from the grant program.
  2. Can Resolutions be turned in after the application is submitted? What is the final deadline for the Resolution? My Board does not have a Board meeting scheduled so I cannot get a Resolution before the application deadline.
    Yes. The approved Resolution and the EPPP Policy for either a single or a regional jurisdiction, and all supporting documents for a regional program should preferably be submitted with the application by July 1, 2014 June 10, 2014, but must be received no later than July 31, 2014 July 8, 2014. An application missing a resolution or EPPP Policy will be disqualified and will not be considered for funding.
  3. Do we need to submit our policy related to Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices (EPPP)?
    No, do not upload a copy of your policy. Applicants who do not have an EPPP Policy in place when they submit their application should upload a signed EPPP notification to the Documents tab in GMSWeb by July 31, 2014 July 8, 2014. Any application without an EPPP Policy will be disqualified and will not be considered for funding.
  4. Are matching funds required from the applicant in order to receive funding from this grant cycle?
    No. Matching funds are not required. However, matching funds can improve the cost-effectiveness of your proposal and enable you to keep managerial and miscellaneous costs to a minimum, which are areas that may increase your Budget criterion score. In addition, use of matching funds is a positive indication that other funding may be available to sustain the program after the grant term has ended.
  5. How often can a grantee submit a payment request?
    The grantee may submit payment requests on a quarterly basis as long as a description of activities completed during that time period and all supporting documentation (e.g., copies of invoices and receipts) are included. A payment request must accompany a progress report. Payment requests will be approved only after the grantee has submitted all required documentation/reports and these reports have been approved by CalRecycle’s Grant Manager.
  6. Many of the CalRecycle Documents required for Application Submittal are not available for download from the GMS web page. Currently, only the Budget, General Checklist of Business Permits, Licenses and Filings (CalRecycle 669), and the Work Plan are downloadable. When will other documents become available?
    Application documents that are used specifically for the purpose of applying for the Organics Grant Program are not assigned form numbers and therefore are not posted to the CalRecycle Grant Forms webpage. The required application documents for the Organics grant can be found on the Summary Tab of the online application in the Grants Management System (GMS).
  7. Do you have a sample resolution?
    Resolution and letter examples can be found on our website at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Funding/SampleDocs/default.htm. There are examples for both individual and regional applicants.
  8. Can you clarify what a “signed EPPP notification” entails for the Organics Grant Program application if an applicant doesn’t already have a policy in place? Is it simply a statement of intent? Perhaps you have an example you can provide?
    All CalRecycle grant applicants are required to develop, adopt and implement an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing and Practices (EPPP) Policy for their organizations. The EPPP Notification can be found on the Summary Tab of the application. It must be signed by the signature authority, dated and identify the governing body or authority that adopted the policy. To see examples of existing EPPP Policies, visit the Responsible Purchasing Network, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Laws and Policies, and Tools and Resources.
  9. Under Eligible Applicants in the Grant Cycle Overview, it states that a qualifying entity may submit up to two applications... and that each application must be for a single project. Can each application for each 'single project' be up to $3m? So in other words can one qualifying entity submit two applications for up to $3m each?
    Yes. Each application for a single project can request up to $3,000,000. A single entity could submit two applications for $3,000,000 each for a total of $6,000,000 so long as each application is for a different and distinct project.
  10. Regarding the Work Plan document, it is unclear if activities for the entire project are to be included, or only activities that we anticipate will utilize grant funds from this program. Subsequently, the Budget document then asks for the dollar amount for each activity identified in the Work Plan, but the Budget document also has columns to designate if the activity is to be covered by other funding sources (Greenhouse Gas Loan Funds, Local/State/Federal Funds, and Other Funds). In our situation, we are undertaking a large project that is in the design phase with few quotes for activities/expenditures. If we anticipate that there will be more than $3M budgeted for design and engineering work alone, then are we to only list those activities related to those categories in our Work Plan and Budget documents? Or, are we to list all activities for the entire project that will be in excess of the grant maximum award of $3M?
    All project activities, whether proposed for funding through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Organics Grant Program or not, that demonstrate effective project implementation should be included in the grant application. This information should provide sufficient detail for the review team to understand the complete project from a technical perspective as well as how sound the project is from a funding perspective. Design and engineering work may not exceed 5 percent of the total amount requested.
  11. If our organization has an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing and Practices (EPPP) Policy in place (since 2008), do I still need to submit the EPPP Policy Notification form? The form states it is to be used “ONLY by applicants that did not have an EPPP policy in place when the application was submitted.”
    No. Applicants must answer the EPPP question located on the Detail Tab of their application. If the Yes button is checked, the applicant is certifying their organization has an EPPP Policy in place. Applicants that check No must adopt an EPPP Policy and upload the EPPP Notification document by the secondary due date.
  12. There are several parts in the guideline and instructions that makes reference to payments. Are these the payments from the grant? In "GRANT AWARD CONDITIONS" mentions "outstanding debts due CalRecycle" and "outstanding payments owed to CalRecycle." Are these debts and payment related to the grant?
    The Grant Award Conditions require a grantee to pay all outstanding debts due to CalRecycle or bring current outstanding payments owed to CalRecycle. Some of our grantees have existing grants in other CalRecycle grant programs. Payments are made on a reimbursement basis only and detailed Grant Payment Information is on page 8 of the Procedures and Requirements – Exhibit B.
Last updated: June 4, 2014
Climate Change: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Climate/
Contact: climatechange@calrecycle.ca.gov