Questions about the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program application were accepted in writing only, no later than April 8, 2020. Similar or related questions were grouped together or reworded for clarity and responded to as one question.

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

General | Eligibility | Funding | Application

General

  1. How flexible is the definition of composting?
    The process needs to result in a stable, finished product that is free of pests and pathogens. Finished product testing is an eligible expense for project sites.

  2. Does the Lead Applicant have to hold individual insurance policies for each project site developed under the grant agreement, or does general liability insurance cover the Lead Applicant activities and their approved site managers under the terms of the grant agreement?
    CalRecycle does not have any specific requirements regarding the level of insurance a grantee must maintain regarding the project sites. It is recommended that applicants check with their current insurance provider to see what types of coverage may be needed.

  3. It is possible to identify the majority of project sites to be supported in the Request for Approval (RFA) application, propose budget expenses for developing these sites, and base proposed deliverables in terms of jobs, Green House Gas (GHG) reductions, and trees through submitting letters of interest as part of the RFA application? We would like to have a number of sites that are shovel ready for day one of the grant fund release, can we include these project sites in the initial RFA for approval by the grant manager?
    Project site locations need to be determined after the grant is awarded through an open and public project site selection process. All interested groups must be given an opportunity to apply for project sites. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  4. Has the Grantee for this grant program been selected yet? If so, how do we get in contact with that entity?
    The Grantee for this grant program will be selected after the applications are reviewed, scored and a Grantee is approved for award. We anticipate announcing the Grant award in July of 2020. Parties interested in a project site are encouraged to sign up for the Program listserv and watch for project site solicitation materials which are expected to be available in the summer of 2020. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

Eligibility

  1. Are California State University (CSU) campuses eligible for a project site?

    CSU campuses are eligible for a project site if they meet all the eligibility requirements and can show project support from relevant university officials. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  2. Are individual public schools eligible for a project site or does the school district need to apply on behalf of interested schools?

    Individual public schools are eligible for a project site if they meet all the eligibility requirements. Individual schools must be able to show district support and shall check with their district for guidance on rules or requirements for the district. The district is not required to apply for the Grant for the interested schools. For more information about eligible applicants, please refer to the “Eligible Applicants” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  3. I am interested in implementing a community composting program. It sounds like this grant targets an overarching organization to oversee the grant funds throughout the entire state. We would like to be considered for a community composting project site. Are there already organizations that are considering site locations as a part of their grant application, or will they be selecting site locations after the grant has been awarded? 

    CalRecycle will award funds to one entity (Grantee) who will in turn select community composting project sites throughout the state. Project site locations will be determined after the grant is awarded through an open and public project site selection process. Parties interested in a project site are encouraged to sign up for the Program listserv and watch for project site solicitation materials which are expected to be available in the summer of 2020. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions

  4. I am not sure if my organization should apply for the Grant or wait until the Grant is awarded and apply for a project site. How do I know what is the best fit for our group?
    The best fit for your group depends on your organizational capacity, internal systems, and the strength of your team and your partnerships. The competitive grantee will need a variety of skills and abilities.
    • Statewide reach or strong partners in multiple locations who can provide assistance and training to project sites around the state.
    • Expertise in outreach, the ability to design and run a solicitation process, and credibility with community groups.
    • Strong purchasing and accounting systems, established personnel practices, and internal financial controls.
    • The ability to track and analyze data and write a complex report.

    If your organization is lacking in any of these key areas, it may be best to wait for the Grant to be awarded and for the Grantee to begin their open and public project site selection process. Parties interested in a project site are encouraged to sign up for the Program listserv and watch for project site solicitation materials which are expected to be available in the summer of 2020. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  5. My question is whether University of California (UC) campuses are capable of applying for this grant. Are California State University (CSU) campuses eligible for a project site? 
    UC and CSU campuses are not eligible to apply for this grant. However, UC and CSU campuses are eligible to apply for a project site if they meet all the eligibility requirements and can show project support from relevant university officials. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  6. Are project sites that process feedstock for the Program not currently being disposed in the solid waste stream (as in the project does not create new landfill diversion) still eligible to apply for project site support?
    No. The quantification methodology developed for this program to measure greenhouse gas emission reductions is based on new landfill diversion and this program is designed to maximize greenhouse gas emission reductions while providing benefits to communities served by project sites. In areas currently served by organics service providers we encourage groups interested in applying for a project site to identify and target areas in their community that are not currently served by organics diversion activities, such as small businesses, residential areas or multifamily complexes that do not currently have organics service. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions. For more information about the quantification methodology for this program please refer to the California Air Resources Board’s CCI Quantification, Benefits, and Reporting Materials webpage.

  7. Are local governments allowed to apply for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program?

    Local Governments are not eligible to apply for this grant. However, local Governments are eligible to apply for a project site if they meet all the eligibility requirements and can show project support from relevant community groups. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  8. Are School Districts eligible to apply for funding for their community composting projects? (NOT to be the Grantee). A School District is in the process of transforming an area at one of our facilities into a windrow composting operation, to compost our landscape clippings. We would like to compost more of our clippings, as well as incorporate food waste from the cafeteria. We hope that the compost generated from our landscaping and food waste could be used to start a district nursery in order to plant more trees. Would such a project be eligible for funding from the Grantee?
    Expansions or improvements of existing community composting sites are eligible for a project site if the site meets all the eligibility requirements. The minimum project site requirements are:
    • Proof that the project site is authorized for use for the entire grant term.
    • Assurance that the project site will be publicly accessible for at least four hours per week.
    • Documentation that the feedstocks for the composting program are currently being disposed in the solid waste stream.

    For more complete information about project requirements and project site selection, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

Funding

  1. Can the 10 percent withheld be paid out at the completion of a phase of operation or at the end of the project only?

    No. Ten percent of each approved Payment Request amount will be retained by CalRecycle until the Grant Manager approves the Final Progress Report, the final Payment Request, and all required supporting documentation at the end of the grant term.

  2. Is the purchase of bicycles or bike trailers for collecting or moving organic material for the compost pile eligible for grant funding?

    Yes.

  3. Is gasoline an eligible expense for this Program if it’s used to transport materials?

    No, gasoline is not an eligible expense for this Program.

  4. Employment and job training for priority populations is an eligible expense under the grant. Is there any information that clearly defines who falls into that category? 
    Priority populations include Disadvantaged Communities, low-income communities and low-income households. For more information on how Disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households are defined please visit the California Air Resources Board Priority Population Investments webpage or please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  5. Is there greater detail for the entire grant? I’m interested to see what the indirect cost rate is.
    For greater detail on the grant please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions as well as the Procedures and Requirements, details on the indirect cost rate can be found under “Indirect Costs” within the “Eligible Costs” section of both documents. The total indirect costs shall not exceed ten percent of the total Grant award.

  6. We are interested in applying to develop and implement the CalRecycle program to select community composting projects throughout California. In the future, we may also want to apply for funding to support an individual community composting site. If we were awarded this grant, would that preclude future funding for us to establish a specific site?
  7. Applicants that have previously received CalRecycle grant program or California Climate Investments (CCI) funding are eligible to apply for future grants, provided the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, the project meets the project criteria and the previously funded grant project is progressing or was completed in a manner satisfactory to CalRecycle. For more information about eligible applicants, please refer to the “Eligible Applicants” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Please be advised that the Community Composting for Green Spaces grant program is a pilot program and there are no guarantees of future funding cycles. All CCI-funded CalRecycle greenhouse gas grant programs are dependent upon annual funding allocations from the California Legislature.

  8. Are stipends offered to site managers and through workforce development programs to conduct on-site composting qualify as direct costs? 
    Stipends offered to site managers funded by outside entities such as workforce development agencies or local job training organizations may be discussed in the project narrative and ultimately included in the project budget as an in-kind donation.  It is generally positive to have other sources of funding for individual project sites. However, CalRecycle cannot reimburse the grantee for costs paid by another entity.
  9. Are the resources spent preparing progress reports direct costs?
    Yes, progress report preparation expenses are a direct cost for this program. For more information about eligible costs, please refer to the “Eligible costs” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
  10. If up to $337,500 of the total award can be offered as advance payment, can it cover the full amount of indirect costs (up to $135k) for indirect costs in the program budget?  
    Any eligible cost can be covered with the advance payment.  Please keep in mind that all other costs will be paid in arrears, and the state has up to 45 days from the time the payment request and progress report are approved to pay those invoices. If using the advance to pay indirect costs impacts a grantee’s ability to purchase necessary supplies, that could jeopardize a potential grantee’s ability to fulfill the terms and conditions of the grant.
  11. Will state and local permit and inspection fees, which may be required to operate a community composting site, qualify as eligible expenses?
    Yes, permit and inspection fees are eligible expenses for project sites in this program. For more information about eligible costs, please refer to the “Eligible costs” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

Application

  1. Where can I obtain a copy of the application?

    The application is available in CalRecycle’s web-based Grants Management System (GMS). Access to GMS is secure; therefore, you must have a CalRecycle WebPass in order to log into the system. Applicants who have not previously obtained a CalRecycle WebPass can create an account at the CalRecycle WebPass site. For log in and instructions on completing your application please refer to the “Application Access” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  2. The Application Certification section states to have the Signature Authority sign and upload the document and retain the original. There does not seem to be a signature block section on the form. Where does the Signature Authority sign?

    The signature block can be found on the last page of the Application Certification document under the “Conditions and Certification” section.

  3. The application indicates the Greenhouse Gas emission reductions must be calculated for each site. How are these calculated and submitted with the application?

    The CARB Quantification Methodology (QM) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction calculator is an important tool that will be required to be used during the grant period. For every project site, the Grantee will need to submit a completed GHG emission reduction calculator before the project site can begin implementation of the project site plan or spend funds on the project site. As project sites have not been determined a completed GHG emission reduction calculator is not a requirement for the application. The GHG emission reduction calculator is provided so that applicants can familiarize themselves with the tool, prepare for gathering the required data and consider these requirements while drafting responses to the application questions. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  4. Can there be multiple Primary and Secondary Contacts for the application and reporting processes?
    There can only be one Primary contact and there can be multiple secondary contacts for the application and reporting process. For more information on contacts please refer to the “Contacts Tab” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.