The question and answer period is now closed for this grant cycle. All questions and answers are posted on this site.
Questions about the Organics Grant Program grant application were accepted in writing only, no later than February 23, 2017. Similar or related questions were grouped together or reworded for clarity and responded to as one question.
- How often can a grantee submit a payment request?
The grantee may submit payment requests (CalRecycle 87) on a quarterly basis. The payment request must include a description of activities completed during that time period and all supporting documentation (e.g., copies of invoices and receipts) and must be accompanied by 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. Please see the Grant Payment Information and Grant Payment Request and Documentation sections of the Procedures and Requirements.
- I noticed on the Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website
that there is new version of CalEnviroScreen (3.0). Should I use the new version
for the latest information?
No. You must use CalEnviroScreen 2.0 as directed in the application documents.
- Will there be a webinar providing more detail on the program? I am particularly interested if other types of waste-to-energy
projects would be eligible.
No. Please subscribe to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Listserv for notification of other grant programs.
- Is an environmental review a prerequisite to apply for an on-site composter at a school campus?
Applicants shall complete all California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements for their project within 12 months of the notice of award. Please refer to the California Environmental Quality Act Compliance section page 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- In the greenhouse gas (GHG) calculator, why does a ton of residual material going to landfill have emissions above
the baseline scenario?
The GHG impact from landfilling residuals includes fugitive landfill emissions as well as compost or digestion process emissions. Please see the instructions in the GHG calculator “Definitions” tab for details on how to account for residuals for each project type.
- How will CalRecycle measure greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction levels from a composter facility that combines food waste and green waste,
especially if some of the green waste has already been composted?
Applicants should use the ARB FY2016-17 Waste Diversion GHG Emission Reduction Calculator to determine the level of GHG reductions achieve by the project. Please reference the ARB FY2016-17 Waste Diversion GHG Emission Reduction Calculator section on page 15 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. If some green waste is already being composted, that organic material is not eligible for the Organics Grant Program as it is not newly diverted material from the landfill. Please reference the Project Requirements section on pages 6 and 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Is the Organic Grant Program funding or implementation affected by any of the presidential executive orders, such as the freeze of
government activity, signed by President Trump?
- We are a food waste prevention organization and subscribe to
the Greenhouse Gas Listserv--Will there be a solicitation in the
Spring 2017 for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant
Program? When might we expect to see an email with a link
to this new program?
The criteria for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program are currently in development. CalRecycle anticipates presenting the criteria at its monthly public meeting on March 21, 2017 and releasing the application for this program in March/April 2017 and will notify potential applicants via the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Listserv.
- Does Proposition 65 Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Act
apply to a composting project?
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. The Act may apply to composting projects if Proposition 65 listed chemicals are released to the environment from the project or are found in the products from a compost facility operation. For general information on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals, please visit the Proposition 65 page.
- I believe it was mentioned there would be two more grant
cycles of which demonstration projects would be appropriate. Do
you still anticipate additional funding and if so when would the
grant information be released?
CalRecycle proposed the demonstration project grant program as part of the original $100 million allocation in the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 proposed Governor’s Budget. However, CalRecycle only received $40 million. Because of the decreased funding, the demonstration project grant program will not be funded. Future Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Programs will be considered upon funding allocations in future Governor’s Budgets.
- Where can the Grant Number be found for the Organics program?
The grant number is assigned only when a project is awarded and will be included on the Grant Agreement cover sheet.
- The applicant is a large private company with a
policy that does not permit the release of federal income
tax returns. There is a wholly owned subsidiary of the
applicant/parent company under which the project is
dedicated, but the subsidiary does not have its own tax
returns. Given these circumstances, please confirm if the
lack of tax returns will reduce the scoring for fiscal
soundness or disqualify the application.
Appropriate financial documentation of an organization’s financial strength, the project’s capital expenditure viability, and feedstock/product market productions is vital in evaluating the fiscal soundness of an applicant and their project. If not all the documents listed in the Financial Narrative are provided, CalRecycle may not be able to confirm that your business has accumulated the required capital to fund the construction and start-up operation costs of your project, which would affect your score.
- We plan to develop an organic waste preprocessing
project for food waste. Initially the processed material
will be taken to composting. When anaerobic digestion (AD)
capacity at the wastewater plant is developed the material
will be taken to AD for codigestion. At some point in the
future AD capacity may be needed for increased wastewater
treatment, in which case the material will go back to
composting, until additional AD capacity is developed.
Should this preprocessing project be considered a composting
or a digestion project?
Preprocessing projects will be providing feedstock material for either a composting facility or a digestion facility during the entire grant term. Digestion applications will only compete with other digestion applications based on their organic materials digested. Composting applications will only compete with other composting applications in the same manner. The preprocessor must provide a proof of binding agreement with a California facility that is receiving the preprocessed feedstock. Please refer to Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- If a City has an exclusive agreement with Waste
Management to haul all organic and green waste within city
limits, how can we be eligible to create a composting
facility on our property in Oakland?
It is up to the applicant to determine whether or not they meet the eligibility requirements of the Organics Grant Program. Please refer to the Project Requirements and Eligible Projects sections on pages 6 and 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- If our facility will compost material from various
cities that are located 3-5 cities away from our facility,
for example, is the expectation that we conduct outreach to
every city and disadvantaged community the material is
collected from and to every city and disadvantaged community
along the various truck routes?
Outreach must occur within a half-mile radius or a proposed facility and along projected truck routes during the application period, the grant term, and after the project closes. Outreach may include, but is not limited to, notifying the public of the proposed facility, holding public meetings to discuss its implementation, or notifying disadvantaged communities of the food rescue resources the project offers.
- As a County Government, our Environmental Preferable
Purchasing and Practices (EPPP) is an internal policy
adopted and implemented by General Services Department,
which is granted authority by the Board of Supervisors to be
in charge of all purchases made by the County, however the
EPPP was never directly approved of via resolution. Does
this still count as an adopted EPPP?
- What are the elements required in the quarterly progress
reports and the final report?
The elements required for the quarterly Progress Reports and the Final Report are listed in Progress Report and Final Report sections on pages 6 to 11 of the Procedures and Requirements.
- My anaerobic digestion project will result in the recovery of
some other recyclable commodities that were previously
landfilled (cardboard, metals, and plastic). Should those
tons be included in my tonnage summary?
Only green or food materials that were previously landfilled should be included in the tonnage summary for the Organics Grant Program.
- Is an applicant with multiple sites still
eligible to apply?
Yes. One application may include multiple sites.
- Do I need to subtract food-soiled paper from newly diverted food waste tons?
Food-soiled paper that is commingled with incoming food waste will either be processed by the facility into a beneficial product, (e.g. compost), or separated with other residuals. Residuals sent back to the landfill are subtracted from gross tons of feedstock to get net tons diverted.
- A recycling center for demolition of asphalt and concrete uses diesel generators
to crush the materials into an aggregate base material. Is the conversion from diesel
generator to electric an eligible expenditure for Organics Grant Program?
No. Concrete and asphalt crushing is not eligible under the organics infrastructure grants. Please refer to Eligible Projects on Page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Is a project eligible if the food rescue/prevention component couples with the Safe
Alternative Feed Enterprises (SAFE) (see
Food rescue and food waste prevention projects are only eligible if they are components of a composting or digestion project under the Organics Grant Program. Eligible expenditures are very specific for the food rescue and food waste prevention portion.
A separate Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program will be available in the spring of 2017. Please subscribe to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Listserv for notification of this grant program.
- Can you please describe specifically the definition of “in-state infrastructure”?
Does in-state infrastructure mean that the project would have to allow other entities
to come and dispose their organic waste at the proposed location, or can we propose a
project that solely disposes of the on-site organic waste?
“In-state infrastructure” means the construction, renovation, or expansion of a facility that is located in California. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Would a project to digest dairy manure to generate renewable power and produce odorless,
improved fertilizer be eligible for the Organics Grant Program?
Projects that exclusively digest manure are not eligible. Eligible projects must include newly diverted California-generated green waste or food waste as feedstock. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- A jurisdiction is collaborating with an investor group to build an anaerobic digestion system.
The project will be receiving Certified Renewable Energy Bonds through the Federal Government
(already awarded to this project) which is a subsidy on public bond issuance. Would this
disqualify the jurisdiction from receiving an Organics Grant since the jurisdiction is
receiving government assistance on the project?
No. The jurisdiction is not disqualified for this reason. Please refer to Ineligible Costs on pages 7 and 8 and Budget on pages 15 and 16 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Our company is developing a project concept that would receive 150 tons of organic food waste daily.
The technology used to process the organic waste is not composting or digestion but is a fertilizer
manufacturing process. Is a fertilizer manufacturing process eligible for the Organics Grant Program?
Eligible Projects must compost or digest California-generated green materials or food materials or pre-process these materials for composting or digestion. Digestion can be anaerobic or aerobic. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- My company designs and manufactures biomass gasifiers, which convert waste woody biomass, such as
urban forest green waste, into renewable energy and biochar, a soil amendment. If we, (or a preprocessing
facility), were to write a grant to install some of our gasification systems at a preprocessing facility
that provides material to digestion/composting facilities that would have the effect of increasing diversion
from landfills, would that be an eligible project?
No. Eligible preprocessing projects must result in newly diverted California-generated green materials or food materials being subsequently composted or digested. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- We are starting a partnership with a company to take their many tons of juice pulp for our composting
operation at a 200 acres farm and we are looking for funding to purchase 1-ton bins that we can off-load
with a forklift. Would we qualify as a farm to take the organic waste, as opposed to a licensed compost facility?
Projects must process California-generated green waste or food waste that will be newly diverted from a landfill because of the project. If the juice pulp is not currently being sent to a landfill, then it would not qualify as being newly diverted from a landfill because of the project. Farms may not take compostable materials from off site without a permit. Contact the local enforcement agency to discuss solid waste facility permit requirements for this project.
- For the purposes of applying for the Organics Grant Program, is a Unified School District considered a local government?
Per the Eligible Applicant list on Page 4 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Unified School Districts are not eligible and are not considered local governments.
School Districts will be eligible entities for the new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, however, the criteria for that grant program has not yet been presented at a public meeting or approved by CalRecycle’s Director. Tentative timeline for the criteria of that program is March 2017.
- The application guidelines (pg. 6) state that a food waste prevention and rescue project MUST be partnered with
a compost or digestion project and submitted as a cooperative application. However, the cooperative application
requirements state that a cooperative application is one in which two or more entities that are eligible join.
Please clarify if a food rescue non-profit is an eligible entity (if the only project they implement is food rescue)?
A food waste prevention and rescue component is only eligible when collaborating with a compost or a digestion facility. A food waste prevention and rescue component is not eligible to apply as a stand-alone project--it must be coupled with a composting or digestion operation and apply as a cooperative application. A cooperative application refers to a lead compost or digestion project working cooperatively with a food waste organization, or two composting (or digestion) operations working cooperatively together on one project. Please refer to Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
A separate Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program will be available in the spring of 2017. Please subscribe to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Listserv for notification of this grant program.
- Is a compost/digestion facility wishing to collaborate with an established food rescue non-profit (such as Feeding
America, a local food bank, or similar) required to submit a cooperative application?
Yes. A compost facility wishing to collaborate with an established food rescue non-profit would submit a cooperative application. Please refer to the Cooperative Application Section on page 5, as well as, the Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Does a digestion partner have to be in our service area?
No. The partnering facility must be in California and the project must newly divert California-generated green materials or food materials from landfill disposal or Alternate Daily Cover (ADC) for use as compost or digestion feedstock. Please refer to Project Requirements section on page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Does a partnership have to involve actual collaboration with the partner? We have begun an organic waste recycling
program with our local disposal service. Is that an acceptable partnership if we find a third-party partner? Can
grant funds be used to pay or offset our monthly cost for organic waste recycling?
Grant funds may not be used to pay for or offset the monthly cost of organic waste recycling. You are not required to have a partner however if you do, grant funds must be allocated to some portion of both cooperative applicants. Please refer to Eligible Costs section on page 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Can a non-profit partner be involved with other grants through CalRecycle?
Yes, however, CalRecycle grant projects need to be separate and distinct. Applicants must be in good standing with their current grants and loans to be eligible for the Organics Grant Program.
- Would exterior waste stations, such as Bigbelly/Smartbelly triple stations, be an acceptable project to apply for
funding under this grant program?
No. Please refer to the Ineligible Cost section on pages 8 and 9 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Are organizations that are not located in a disadvantaged community, but serves disadvantaged communities eligible
for Organics Grant Program grant funding?
A project does not have to be located in a disadvantaged community or benefit a disadvantaged community in order to be eligible. A project that is not located in a disadvantaged community, but one that still provides benefit to a disadvantaged community may garner additional points in the disadvantaged community category.
- Could we purchase a piece of equipment for another organization? How would that be handled with the grant?
Yes, but only if a cooperative grant application is submitted. Private entities, or private entities and public entities, may join together in a cooperative grant application in which two or more eligible entities join together for the purpose of grant implementation. A Lead Participant must be designated to act on behalf of all participating entities. The Lead Participant is the applicant/grantee who will be responsible for the performance of the grant and all required documentation. All participating entities will be grantees. CalRecycle will direct all official correspondence and grant payments to the Lead Participant. All entities involved with a cooperative application will be required to execute a grant agreement.
The Lead Participant may order a piece of equipment for a participating organization, as long as the equipment is vital to the diverting of organics material away from landfill disposal and to composting, digestion or food rescue. Applicants need to describe this relationship in the application and identify all equipment purchases in the budget.
- Our anaerobic digestion (AD) project will divert and process source separated organics (SSO) material that is
currently composting in a covered aerated static pile system. The biogas generated from the AD facility will be
used to produce biogenic compressed natural gas as a vehicle fuel that is carbon negative per the California
Air Resources Board. Would the anticipated greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of producing carbon negative fuel
relative to a composting make the AD project eligible?
The project as described above is not eligible because the feedstock is already being diverted from the landfill as it is currently being composted, not landfilled. Please refer to the Project Requirements section on pages 6 and 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Concerning “Participating entities” in the Organics Grant Program, are there any restrictions on an organization
serving as a participating entity in more than one grant proposal?
It is possible to be a participating entity in multiple projects however; participating entities will be considered grantees and are therefore subject to the two-application rule. If a participating entity is to be involved in multiple projects, the costs for each project must be separate and distinct and each project must result in separate and distinct tons newly diverted from landfill disposal.
- In the grant guidelines it states, "$3,000,000 from the compost
projects allocation is available for Rural Program applicants”. Is this $3,000,000 only going to be allocated to composter projects, or are digestion projects also eligible for the Rural Program allocation?
Only compost projects are eligible for the Rural Program.
- Does the organic waste need to be landfilled before being diverted? If the organic waste is currently being
landfilled, is that waste then considered eligible?
Yes, the organic material must be currently going to the landfill for that waste to be considered eligible as feedstock for the project.
- Are vermicomposting projects that process food waste
previously going to the landfill, eligible?
Yes. A project is eligible as long as the project is utilizing newly diverted organic and food waste materials and that material is either being composted or digested.
- If the proposed California-generated green material is currently being open field burned, or other form of disposal that is not landfilling or Alternative Daily Cover (ADC), and the project would divert away from this form of disposal and compost this feedstock, is this feedstock eligible to count towards 1) greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to landfilling and/or 2) tons of organic material composted?
No. All eligible feedstock must be newly diverted from landfill disposal or ADC use as specified in the Project Requirements section on pages 6 and 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- In response to the limitation of applications per business entity, are University of California campuses considered separate business entities? The University of California Office of the President endorses that each campus operates as their own organization and should be viewed as separate and distinct.
Yes. Each university or college in the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems are considered as separate organizational entities and may apply as such.
- If the project currently accepts no feedstock, then are all newly received California-generated food and/or green material tons considered diversion from being landfilled or used for Alternative Daily Cover (ADC)?
Eligible feedstock for the project must be California-generated green materials, or food materials, newly diverted from landfill disposal or ADC use, and composted or digested. For purposes of this program, “newly diverted” means the tons of materials that are currently being landfilled or used as ADC that will instead be diverted as a result of this project. The applicant must certify that the feedstock is California-generated waste that is destined to landfill prior to project. Please refer to the Project Requirement section on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- For the purpose of this grant, is Chapter 3.1 Article 1. Section 17852 Definitions (a)(21) and (a)(22) used for the definition of green material and food material when referring to California-generated green material and food material?
Section 17852(a)(21) is the definition of green material when used for purposes of composting projects.
- Would the addition of solar panels and a roof covering an aerated static pile (ASP) system be included as an eligible cost in the grant program? Solar panels produce green energy and there are many benefits that come with covering a composting process including storm water management and minimization/isolation of leachate. With the right design, preliminary calculations indicate that a solar roof over a moderately sized (100,000 tons per year) composting facility would produce enough electricity to run the ASP fans, grinder, and screener making the facility near net zero.
Activities, products and costs must be associated with composting, or digestion processing or pre-processing of new feedstocks diverted from landfilling or Alternative Daily Cover (ADC). A photovoltaic system that powers a composting project can be an eligible cost if it is associated with diverting new tons of green or food materials away from landfilling or ADC. Addition of a photovoltaic system to an existing composting facility which does not result in additional tons of materials being composted is not an eligible project or cost, even if it reduces emissions from that facility. Please refer to the Eligible Costs and Ineligible Costs sections on page 8 and 9 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions and page 4 of the Procedures and Requirements.
- Jurisdictions within a certain county do not currently have food waste hauling programs. If each of these jurisdictions sign a letter of intent describing how many tons of waste they plan to divert to a new composter or liquid digester facility, can an applicant consider that tonnage toward the “tons of material diverted from landfill beyond which the preprocessor was already diverting” eligible (Page 6 of the grant guidelines)?
Eligible newly diverted tons are defined on pages 6 and 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions as "tons of materials that are currently being landfilled or used as Alternative Daily Cover that will instead be diverted as a result of this project." If the food waste managed by the jurisdictions was being landfilled and is no longer being landfilled due to the implementation of the project, the food waste will be considered eligible for the Organics Grant Program.
- Is the purchase of compost bins an eligible cost?
No. Please refer to the Ineligible Cost section on pages 8 and 9 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- In an exclusive franchise area, would a project be eligible for a grant if the material hauled is newly diverted only because it is generated from a disadvantaged community where organics recovery programs mandated by city ordinances are not currently being implemented by the exclusive franchise hauler and the residential complex?
Projects must be diverting material that was previously being landfilled. If the material was not being landfilled, it would not be considered eligible for the Organics Grant Program. Please refer to the Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Is it required that the project application acquire a permit exemption under the franchise agreement in order to be eligible?
All projects must have all necessary permits to be eligible for the Organics Grant Program. Please complete the Project Readiness and Permits form, providing a detailed explanation as to what permit stage your project is in, and provide all applicable supporting documents to support your claim.
- In terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) calculations, there is little to no historical data on the volume of organic material generated in this community. Is it possible to estimate tonnage of newly diverted materials based on a current sample survey about the community's food/green material generated on site?
Yes. Please refer to Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Vermicomposting projects are eligible, but this processing method is not accounted for in the greenhouse gas (GHG) Calculator tool. Should we just input our data into the field for "Feedstock Diverted for Windrow Composting" instead, and would using the corresponding emission reduction factors (ERFs) reflect the nuanced differences in these methods?
Yes, input the amount of newly diverted material into the “windrow composting” column. The final date to submit an alternative methodology has passed.
- 37. Could the CO2 emissions that will be averted through our proposed project, which the exclusive franchise hauler would otherwise accrue, be accounted for as a deduction in our greenhouse gas (GHG) calculations (since the proposed grant project eliminates transportation of materials by processing compostable material on site and using the final fertilizer within the same community)?
The Air Resources Board (ARB) has developed a quantification methodology and associated calculator, which should be used to quantify the GHG emission reduction for your project. See GHG Emission Reduction Calculator for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17.
- Do both entities in a cooperative application need to meet the eligibility requirements, or only originally recognized as the Lead Participant?
Yes, all entities listed in the application need to meet the eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Eligible Applicants section on page 4 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Would a large-scale composting machine and associated machinery be eligible expenses through this grant? If so, are there other food banks who have used this program that you could refer me too? I just want to talk with them about how they implemented and operate the program.
The Organics Grant Program provides funds to support expansion of the waste management infrastructure, particularly for new or expanded organics infrastructure such as composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. Please refer to Ineligible Costs on pages 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
For information on Food Rescue and Food Banks, please visit: Food Scraps Management-Food Rescue and Food Banks.
- I do not see any information regarding indirect costs. Can you please tell me if indirect (Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates) are allowed on this grant? Consequently, is there a maximum allowed?
Yes, indirect costs under the Administration budget category are allowed for the Organics Grant Program. Please refer to the Budget section on page 15 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. There are guidelines that must be used when claiming indirect cost. Please refer to Indirect Cost on page 5 of the Procedures and Requirements.
- 41. We are working with a waste hauler to move their green and food waste from land application and land fill respectively. Most of the compost material (70-85 percent) we will receive at the new site will be green waste coming from its current use as land application. Will this green waste counts towards the Organics Grant Program?
No, the green waste currently sent to land application is not eligible and will not count towards the tons diverted or greenhouse gas reductions. Newly diverted means the tons of materials that are currently being landfilled or used as alternative daily cover that will instead be diverted as a result of this project.
- In addition to composting green and organic waste, we are interested in creating biochar from construction and green waste. Is biochar and acceptable process to include in the application?
No. Biochar is not eligible under the Organics Grant Program.
- We are interested in a project that helps to recover food waste from being sent to landfills is to create a livestock feed from these ingredients. We believe, based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, that converting these scraps to a livestock feed is a higher function than composting. Can we include the drying and processing of the organic waste into a livestock feed in the application?
No. Animal feed is not eligible under the Organics Grant Program.
- From what I know, Waste Management converts all organic waste and food waste into compost. Does that disqualify a private entity from applying?
For the Organics Grant Program, the entity meeting Project Requirements and Eligible Projects can apply. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Applications are evaluated and scored according to the Organics Grant Program--Scoring Criteria.
- Are biodiesel projects eligible?
Eligible Projects must compost or digest California-generated green materials or food materials or pre-process these materials for composting or digestion. Digestion can be anaerobic or aerobic. Please refer to Project Requirements and Eligible Projects on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- The Grant Award Conditions require a grantee to pay all outstanding debts due to CalRecycle. Does that condition include CalRecycle loans?
To be eligible to receive a grant award the loan from CalRecycle must be current (paying as agreed). The borrower must bring their loan current within 60 days from the date CalRecycle conditionally awarded the grant.
- Is it acceptable to stack funding from the Organics Grant Program with other AB118 sources (Alternative Fuels
and Vehicle Technologies)?
Yes. As long as each funding source is paying for discrete components of the project. Projects may have other funding sources and need to list those sources in the project budget. Grant-eligible program expenditures may start no earlier than the date indicated in the Notice to Proceed and must be incurred no later than April 1, 2020. Please refer to Ineligible Costs on pages 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- My project involves wet air oxidation of plastics. At this stage of the project, the amount listed is not
necessary. Can I apply for smaller grant award?
No. Plastics are not an eligible feedstock for the Organics Grant program.
- Are these, in fact, true Grants that do not have to be repaid?
Yes, however payment to the grantee for eligible infrastructure expenses are made on a reimbursement basis only and may only be requested quarterly during the grant term in conjunction with submission of the Progress Report and the Final Report.
- In the $12 million allocation of Grant funds for composting projects, will you consider a pilot dehydration
facility that can process 20 tons per day of food waste, if it is part of an existing yard waste composting operation?
Dehydration facilities are not eligible on their own, but the use of dehydration when coupled with a compost or digestion facility is allowed. Please see Ineligible Costs section on page 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Would you consider earmarking $1 million or $2 million in Grant funds for food waste generators, (i.e. CA colleges/
universities, city/county/state owned buildings with food service operations, restaurants, hotels, convention centers, etc.),
to reimburse them 50 percent of the costs of purchasing dehydrators to process food waste, on-site?
The allocation of funds as well as the criteria for scoring and eligibility have already been approved for this cycle. CalRecycle may consider this for future grant cycles.
- If the project has complete designs, is shovel ready and has an internal timeline to keep can applicants use
matching funds for project construction after grant award, but prior to grant execution?
Grant funds may not be used to reimburse expenses incurred prior to the issuance of a Notice to Proceed, which will be sent out after execution of the grant agreement. Please reference the Grant Term and Eligible Costs sections on page 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- How often will CalRecycle offer solicitation for this program?
Subsequent solicitations are dependent on funding for this program being included in the annual Governor’s Budget.
- The California Energy Commission (CEC)
has a solicitation (Grant Funding Opportunity, GFO-15-606, an
Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program,
ARFVTP) regarding biogas generation. Can you please
provide clarity around receiving funding from both solicitations
for different components of the same project?
Utilizing other funding sources is allowed as long as each funding source is paying for discrete components of the project. Other funding sources should be listed in the project budget.
- Please explain the potential impact of
construction delays upon performance payments? For example,
what would happen if delays pushed completion of
construction to the third quarter of 2019, allowing a
project only three full quarters of operation to meet its
diversion goals and "earn" its performance payments? If the
project only reached 67 percent of its diversion goals,
would it only be able to earn 67 percent of its performance
payments? Would it be cut off from earning out the final 33
percent for all diversion that occurred after April 1, 2020?
Organics Grant Projects must be in full operation during the grant term and processing the proposed amount of California-generated organic waste material newly diverted from landfill as stated in the Net Tons of Newly Diverted Organic Material document. Delays in a project may result in the Grantee not being able to fully utilize the grant award.
- The grant guidelines specify that reimbursement and a performance payment may be requested quarterly and the grantee can typically expect payment approximately 45 days from the date a Grant Payment Request if approved by the Grant Manager. Is it possible to purchase items and submit the reimbursement request during the same quarter so that the grantee is not carrying this cost for an extended period of time?
Reimbursements are made on a quarterly basis and are coupled with the submission of Progress Reports. Grantees may reimburse for costs that occur during the same quarter upon the grant manager’s approval of the Progress Report. Payment requests must include supporting documentation of proof of payment. Please refer to the Payment Request Process section on page 24 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions and the Payment Request and Documentation section on page 12 and 13 of the Procedures and Requirements.
- If I own a 30 percent interest in a limited liability company formed to build and operate an anaerobic digestion facility and that company submits an application, does that count as one of my two available applications?
No. The limited liability company would not qualify as a subsidiary, division, or affiliated business of your company and therefore would not be treated as part of your company for purposes of applying for a grant. A business is considered an affiliated business if it has at least one owner with a 40 percent or greater interest in another applicant business.
- A waste hauler and my company have formed a 50/50 partnership to build and operate a compost facility and that partnership has submitted an application. Can I still submit two applications on my own?
No. The partnership would qualify as an affiliated business of your company because you have more than a 40 percent ownership interest in it, therefore the partnerships application counts as one of the two applications allowed for each partner. Each partner could only submit one additional application.
- 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?
No. The response size for each section of the Narrative Proposal is limited to 4,000 characters and cannot be expanded. 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.
- Can Resolutions be uploaded 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 for either a single or a regional jurisdiction, and all supporting documents for a regional program should be submitted with the application by March 9, 2017, but must be received no later than March 30, 2017. An application missing a Resolution will be disqualified and will not be considered for funding.
- Do we need to submit our policy related to Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices (EPPP)?
No. Do not upload a copy of your policy. If you have an existing policy in place, go to the Detail tab of your online application and check the Yes button. Your authorized signature authority will sign the Application Certification "certifying" your organization has an EPPP Policy in place. Applicants who do not have an EPPP Policy in place when they submit their application do need to upload a signed EPPP Notification (certifying a new EPPP Policy is now in place) to the Documents tab in GMS by March 30, 2017. Any application without an EPPP Policy in place will be disqualified and will not be considered for funding.
- 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 that answer Yes to the EPPP question located on the Detail Tab of their application are certifying their organization has an EPPP Policy in place. No further action is needed.
- Can you clarify what a “signed EPPP notification” entails for the Organics Grant Program application if an applicant does not 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 and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Tools and Resources.
- 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.
- Do you have a sample resolution?
Resolution and letter examples are available on our website. See the examples for both Individual and Regional Lead Participant applicants. Our staff is available to review your draft resolution to ensure it meets the requirements of the Organics Grant Program. Send it to Grant.Assistance@CalRecycle.ca.gov.
- Can I receive a grant if I have outstanding debts due
No. The Grant Award Conditions require a grantee to pay all outstanding debts due to CalRecycle or bring current outstanding payments owed to CalRecycle within 60 days from the date CalRecycle conditionally awarded the grant.
- Could you please clarify the intent of the Grant Term? On the
website, it states "April 1, 2020” Grant Term. Grantee may incur
costs after the issuance of the Notice to Proceed to this date."
Does this mean that costs may not be incurred prior to the Notice to Proceed, or just that those costs are not eligible?
Similarly, does this mean that costs incurred after April 1, 2020 may not be incurred, (i.e. the project must be fully complete), or just that those costs must not be included in the grant scope? For instance, the project may be part of a larger facility which has other costs and which becomes operational after that date.
The Grant Term begins on the date indicated in the Notice to Proceed and ends on April 1, 2020. Any costs incurred before the Notice to Proceed will not be eligible for reimbursement. Eligible program costs must be incurred and the grant portion of the project must be complete no later than April 1, 2020. Please refer to Grant Term on page 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- What is a Notice to Proceed and when is this anticipated relative to the
estimated time for grant awards?
The Notice to Proceed is a formal notice from CalRecycle authorizing the grantee to proceed with their grant project and to begin incurring costs. The Notice to Proceed is sent after the grant agreement is executed (signed by both parties).
- If there is a delay in timing for awarding the grant, will there be an
adjustment of the April 1, 2020 date as well, or will there be a minimum
period between Notice to Proceed and the end of the Grant Term?
No. The grant term will be from the date of the Notice to Proceed letter to April 1, 2020.
- Can the existing ongoing (not past) tonnage of food that we save, rescue and
divert from landfills be included in our calculation towards the amount of tonnage
that we propose to rescue, save and divert over the 10 year window of the program.
Where can I find the answer?
No. Only the tons of green waste and food waste that are newly diverted from California landfills as a result of this grant project count as diverted tons. Please refer to Project Requirements on pages 5 and 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Would CalRecycle consider as confidential information in the narrative about an
applicant's process flow and technologies, the release of which could result in
harmful effects on the company's financial position? How do you determine harm?
Do we need to make a case for keeping certain information confidential within the
narrative itself, showing all the ways that its release could cause harm?
Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations (14 CCR), sections 17041-17046, states that confidential or proprietary information shall include information of a proprietary or confidential business nature provided by persons in applications, reports, returns, certification or other documents submitted to the Board which if released would result in harmful effects on the person’s competitive position.
Please refer to Confidentiality on pages 9 and 10 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for further information regarding the handling of proprietary information submitted in applications and how it relates to the Public Records Act.
- In general, would a publicly traded company that has a board be required to
provide a Resolution or a Letter of Commitment? If company executives have the
authority to commit the organization to grant activities and budgets, would a Letter
of Commitment suffice?
Any applicant that is subject to a governing body must upload a Resolution that authorizes specific grant-related matters. Governing bodies may include a Board of Directors, Board of Supervisors, City Council, or Tribal Council. A private company may submit a Letter of Commitment signed by an individual authorized to contractually bind the company in a contract/agreement with CalRecycle. Please refer to Resolution and Letter of Commitment on pages 19 and 20 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- In looking at the “Questions and Answers” page, please clarify what you mean by, “One application may
include multiple sites.” Does that mean one company may include multiple projects at multiple sites on a
Yes, entities may submit one application that includes multiple sites.
- If one application is submitted to the Rural Program, can I still submit two applications to the general program?
No, only two applications per qualifying entity will be accepted.
- If I submit an application to the Rural Program that is not selected, will it be considered in the general program?
No. However, if of the project types (compost or digestion) or the Rural Program is undersubscribed, CalRecycle may move funds from one program to another in order to fund eligible applications in an oversubscribed program.
- On the Feedstock Certification Form, what is the definition of “processor”?
Processor is the entity that receives and processes solid waste to provide the specific green waste or food waste feedstock for the grant project.
- How would a Feedstock Certification Form be submitted for a project in an area that does not have an exclusive franchise system OR the franchise system does not include organics yet?
Feedstock certifications are required for all involved entities that provide green waste or food waste, which was previously landfilled, as feedstock for the project. The Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) is a required grant document and will need to be submitted regardless of whether or not the project is in an area with an exclusive franchise system.
- In a non-exclusive franchise area or area where organics can be hauled outside the franchise system, would the generator of the organic waste complete the Feedstock Certification Form?
Yes, feedstock certifications are required for all involved entities that provide green waste or food waste, which was previously landfilled, as feedstock for the project.
- The Feedstock Certification is a required form, and CalRecycle wishes to have the grantee responsible for the accuracy
of the form. How should the grantee ensure the form is accurate (as the grantee would not have access to records)?
Is the importance of the form that the organic waste was diverted from a California landfill or is it the quantity of
tons that will be delivered to the project?
It is incumbent upon all applicants (and grantees) to work with generators, processors, and general partners to ensure the green waste or food waste that will be feedstock for the project was previously landfilled.
- Does the Feedstock Certification Form require the grantee signature? If yes, where?
The grantee does not sign the Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF). The organic feedstock generator (processors, contractors, or haulers) signs all feedstock certification forms under penalty of perjury.
- Are there any example applications from the 2014-15 solicitation for potential applicants to review?
If you wish to review past application materials, a Public Records Act request must be filed. You can file a Public Records Act request by visiting the following website and the submission directions. CalRecycle Public Records Act request website.
- Is there potential that the grant due date will be extended past March 9th?
There are currently no plans to extend the due date, however, if CalRecycle deems an extension necessary, all applicants will be notified.
- If an applicant chooses to submit two applications (for a separate composter and digester project), will it hurt
the chances of one, or both projects been funded? Does CalRecycle recommend applicants only submit one application?
CalRecycle does not provide any suggestions or recommendations as to the number of applications to be submitted. If an applicant submits more than two applications, it will be the applicant’s responsibility to decide which applications should go forward. If the additional application(s) are not withdrawn, the first two applications, as determined by timestamp, will move forward and all other applications will be disqualified.
- If grants are awarded in July/August 2017, will it be possible for a grant agreement to be executed by the end
of the 2017?
Yes, execution of agreements are expected to occur shortly after the award. However, unexpected delays may occur and the timeline will be adjusted accordingly.
- The Definitions tab in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Calculator for Fiscal Years 2015-16 & 2016-17 instructs all applicants to use “CalRecycle document 834” for Net Tons of Material Diverted Subtotal. Where can I find this document?
“CalRecycle document 834” is only applicable to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Program. Please disregard instructions to use “CalRecycle document 834”. This document number is not applicable for this grant application. Applicants should follow all other instructions as noted in the calculator.
- If I submit a request to CalRecycle seeking permission for an Alternative Methodology to calculate greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions for my project and my request is approved, then what would I need to submit for an Alternative
Your Alternative Quantification Methodology (QM) should include sufficient detail so that CalRecycle and Air Resources Board (ARB) staff can make a determination of the GHG benefits of your project. Below are some items that you should consider in the list of supporting documentation that should be uploaded with your application in order to justify and support your Alternative Methodology and detailed GHG calculations:
- Justification and substantiating data for any modifications to new or modified emission reduction factors
- Clearly presented assumptions for new and modified emission reduction factors
- Relevant testing and research data to substantiate claims
- Detailed process description (e.g. tons processed, mass balance, transportation of materials, types of equipment used, etc.)
- Detailed processing burdens (e.g. fuel use, heating requirements, electricity usage, GHG footprint of input materials, etc.)
- Description of input materials processed
- Pictures and/or diagrams of facility
- Description of product or fuel that they are replacing (e.g. ammonia based fertilizer, diesel, gasoline, etc.)
- List of product certification or standards met (e.g., for fertilizer products, is it a certified fertilizer product or, if it is a renewable fuel, does it meet standards for the fuel that it offsets?)
Consistent with pages 14 and 15 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions, CalRecycle and ARB will review the GHG calculations and supporting documentation submitted with your application and, if necessary, may make adjustments after the application and supporting documentation are submitted and before applications are scored to make sure the alternative methodology is consistent with the ARB-approved QM. If CalRecycle determines that, your project meets all the eligibility, requirements, your application, including GHG emission reductions, will be scored and ranked against other applicants.
- For the Feedstock Certification form (feedstock verification), CalRecycle 778-GHG, there is field 8, which
requests supporting documentation. The associated instructions request a ‘Certificate of Origin’ as an attachment
to the signed and completed 778-GHG form. Where can this certificate be found, so the feedstock provider may
approve it? The CalRecycle website provides similar certificates for waste tire programs, yet no equivalent
forms could be found for organic material. Is this a required field for the grant application, or only needed
for payment purposes upon successful approval of a grant application?
For purposes of the application, the Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) (feedstock verification) must be signed by the potential feedstock supplier to validate that only California- generated material that was previously landfilled will be supplied for the proposed grant project. Supporting documentation is not required with the form during the application process.
Once awarded, the Feedstock Verification form is required to certify that only California-generated material that was previously landfilled was used for the grant project. The feedstock supplier will provide you with the necessary supporting documentation.
- In the provided greenhouse gas (GHG) calculation spreadsheet the input and output, fields go until year 2026.
However, the ‘Net tons of newly diverted organic material composted, digested, or food waste prevented or
rescued from landfills’ spreadsheet only cover until year 2020. When expressing the GHG benefits of the project
in the narrative and elsewhere in the application, should the reductions per grant dollar be expressed as GHG avoided
to 2020/Grant $ or GHG avoided to 2026/Grant $? Similarly, with tons of diverted material, are tonnage benefits to
be expressed in terms of equipment lifetime, to 2020, or to 2026?
- Is the "governing body" for a corporation the board of directors? Or is the application referring to local government officials as the “governing body”?
The term governing body may be applicable to local governments and private business/corporation if they have governing board. However, a private company may submit a Letter of Commitment signed by an individual authorized to contractually bind the company in a contract/agreement with CalRecycle. Please refer to Resolution and Letter of Commitment on pages 19 and 20 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Under Project Requirements of the Request
for Approval, it states that a project must "result in
permanent, annual, and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas
(GHG) emission…and increase in quantity (tons)… of material
diverted from landfill..." Will a temporary pilot scale project
with the potential for full implementation be considered for the
grant? How should total tonnages be reported within the scope
of the pilot and the potential for full implementation?
Pilot projects are not eligible.
- Though not required, if an applicant
decides to include match funds in their budget forms, are they
held to the same reporting requirements for that spending as
with reimbursable costs?
Matching funds and all other proposed project expenses must be listed in your proposed budget and must follow all of the requirements specified in page 15 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. However, Payment Request form (CalRecycle 87), supporting documents and Expenditure/Performance Itemization Summary (EPIS) (CalRecycle 777) are required only for reimbursement requests from the Organics Grant Program grant funds.
The grantee must submit Progress Reports and a Final Report as required. The reports will include construction and/or performance updates of the whole proposed project and not just the grant funded portion only. Please refer to Reporting Requirements and Information section on pages 6 to 11 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- A previously answered question confirms
that match funds are not required, but implies that they may be
beneficial from a scoring perspective and increase the cost
effectiveness of the project. As cost effectiveness is
calculated with only CalRecycle funds, how is this improved by
match funds? Can you clarify on the benefit of including match
Match funds are not a requirement. Cost effectiveness is calculated based on grant dollars per GHG reduced or grant dollars per tonnage diverted--match funds are not included in this calculation.
- If the total project cost far exceeds the
request for funding, is there a preferred value or
classification of match funds to show on the budget form?
Applicants should complete the Budget describing in detail the total cost of the project, the contribution of CalRecycle grant and loan funds; other grant funds; local, state, and federal funding; and any in-kind funding such as general funds or investor funds.
- Does green waste currently used as
Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) qualify as a new feedstock to
include in the increase in tons of material diverted from
- In applying for a $3 million compost grant, should
we create a budget requesting only $2.4 million in funding for
equipment, infrastructure, etc. or should we allocate the entire
$3M to equipment, infrastructure, etc. in the budget, with the
understanding that 20 percent will be held back and only paid
out upon fulfillment of the performance requirements? If the
former, where, if at all, should we include the $600,000
performance payment in the budget? Please clarify how to budget
the performance payment.
An applicant can request up to $2,400,000 for capital expenses and other eligible expenses for the infrastructure portion of the project. CalRecycle will add an additional amount equaling 25 percent of the amount approved for infrastructure expenses for performance payments. The applicant will submit a proposed budget based on their requested amount. Do not include the performance payment amount in your application budget. After award, the performance payment portion of the award will be added to the budget in the Grants Management System (GMS).
- If an applicant has a franchise agreement
to collect waste from a variety of jurisdictions and currently
landfills all of that waste, who should fill out the Feedstock
Certification Form? The applicant? Or the jurisdiction(s) that
allow(s) the applicant to collect the waste through the
All processors, contractors, and haulers must complete the Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF). A Feedstock Certification Form identifies who will provide feedstock for the project.
- The Feedstock Certification Form is
required for the grant application. It asks Haulers supplying
waste to the grant applicant's project to provide Quantity
(tons). What is the timeframe of that tonnage? Is it tons
per year for the next 4 years? Or what timeframe is needed
for the tonnage to be provided?
The timeframe for documenting tonnage is 2017-2020.
- Is the Feedstock Certification Form what will be referenced
for the 20 percent performance payment? How will the
performance payment be paid (annually, etc.)?
The Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) will verify feedstock from all processors, haulers, and generators of organic newly diverted material for the entire project. The payments will be made quarterly on a per ton basis with the dollar amount being determined by dividing the amount requested for performance payments by the total number of tons diverted under the project during the grant term, as stated in the application.
- Can an applicant apply Department of Energy funds
approved for construction that is more than 5 percent design
work as match?
Yes. The Organics Grant Program does not require matching funds. There is a five percent cap on administrative expenses from Organics Grant Program grant funds as specified in Ineligible Costs section on page 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Applicants are allowed to use other funding for the project as long as the expenses are separate.
- Can you tell me when or how the "Print Application
Certification" button will become active during the submission
process? I have created a test application to become
familiar with the system and the button is not active.
The “Print Application Certification” button will become active once all application requirements have been completed in the Grants Management System.
- What is the "Permit by Rule for Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facilities or Temporary Collection Events” Permit?
Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities (PHHWCFs) are household hazardous waste collection facilities operated by a public agency on a continuous, regular schedule and housed in a permanent or semi-permanent structure at a fixed location. Temporary Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities (THHWCFs) are hazardous waste collection facilities that are operated by public agencies not more than once in any one month at the same location. These facilities are authorized under Permit by Rule by the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) in accordance with DTSC regulatory standards. Please reference Collection Facilities for a list of types of collection facilities.
- What is a “Waste Discharge Requirements” Permit?
The Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) Program regulates point discharges that are exempt pursuant to State Water Resources Control Board regulations (Subsection 20090 of Title 27) and not subject to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Exemptions from Title 27 may be granted for nine categories of discharges (e.g., sewage, wastewater, etc.) that meet, and continue to meet, the preconditions listed for each specific exemption. Please reference Exemptions for the list of WDR exemption categories. The scope of the WDRs Program also includes the discharge of wastes classified as inert, pursuant to section 20230 of Title 27. If your activities, discharges, or proposed activities or discharges from your property or business could affect California's surface, coastal, or ground waters, in most cases you will need to apply for a permit from the appropriate Regional Water Quality Control Board. Please reference State and Regional Water Boards for the board in your location. Please reference WDR for waste discharge requirements, General WDRs for Composting Facilities, and Compost Regulations for water quality protection regulations at composting facilities.
- With regards to both a preprocessor and composter submitting applications, the application instructions state, “If the composting or digestion facility that receives materials from a preprocessing applicant also submits an application, the applicant must demonstrate how each project will result in discrete increases in tons of material diverted from landfills and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” Please provide clarification about what is meant by “discrete increases in tons.” If possible, please provide an example.
If the composting or digestion facility that receives materials from a preprocessing applicant also submits an application, each project will need to document and prove that the preprocessor and the applicant are using separate and distinct newly diverted feedstock.
- If both the preprocessor and composter submit an application to divert the same tons from landfill, how is the scoring affected?
If a preprocessor and a composter are diverting the same tons from a landfill, they should be working together as they have to provide proof of a binding agreement. They can submit one application that includes eligible expenses at both sites with either the preprocessor OR the composter as the lead applicant. An alternative would be to submit two separate applications with proof of a binding agreement that they are working together; however, they must decide how to split the tons so they are not claiming them twice and make sure that is explained carefully in their applications. If they submit two separate applications and are claiming the tons twice, then the tons will be reduced by 50 percent for each application prior to scoring. Please refer to the Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- In the Grant Management System (GMS), “Invoices/Quotes” is listed in “Other Supporting Document(s) as applicable for your Application/Project. However, in the Application Guidelines and Instructions, there is no reference to invoices/quotes. Can you clarify whether or not invoices/quotes are required for submission?
Invoices and quotes may be provided to support costs listed in the Budget. It is not required for submission but may be taken into consideration during the evaluation and scoring process.
- In the Application Guidelines and Instructions, page 16 states “The form must be signed by the processor, contractor or hauler and the applicant’s Signature Authority.” There is not a designated space on the attached feedstock certification form for the Signature Authority, can you please clarify what signatures are needed and where?
For the application, only the potential feedstock supplier is required to sign the form to validate that only California- generated material that was previously landfilled will be supplied for the proposed grant project. The Application Guidelines and Instructions will be revised to correct the language.
- The Feedstock Certification form in section 8 asks for “Supporting Documentation,” which is defined on the following page as the following “Certificate of Origin (if competed by a California Processor, Contractor, or Hauler) or a Bill of Lading and Manifest documentation for non-California processors.” This documentation infers that the transaction has already taken place, how should applicants submit feedstock certifications for contractors that have agreed to supply feedstock and to making records available in the future?
For purposes of the application, the Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) (feedstock verification) must be signed by the potential feedstock supplier to validate that only California-generated material that was previously landfilled will be supplied for the proposed grant project. Supporting documentation is not required with the form during the application process. Once awarded, the Feedstock Verification form is required to certify that only California-generated material that was previously landfilled was used for the grant project. The feedstock supplier will provide you with the necessary supporting documentation.
- In the financial narrative, it differentiates between
an existing business or newly formed business. Our company has
been in business for many years. However, the composting
business will be an entirely new division for the company.
Therefore, shall we complete the section for a newly formed
business? Or should we complete an existing business?
Complete the financial narrative section in the Grant Management System as an existing business. The composting business is an addition to the existing business.
- Is the processor, contractor, or hauler the
source of the feedstock? If the feedstock is being picked up
by the applicant/grantee, does the applicant information go
in for the processor, contractor, or hauler section?
Yes. The processor, contractor, or hauler is the source of the California-generated organic waste is to be processed in the grant project. If the applicant/grantee is also the waste collector, applicant’s/grantee’s information would be used in this section.
- What is greenhouse gas (GHG) support in
supporting documentation section of the application in the
Grants Management System?
GHG Support is optional and can be documentation that supports your GHG emission reduction claims.
- Our project includes working with local
agricultural produce companies to divert unmarketable,
packaged organics that are currently being landfilled. Due
to company proprietary information, they cannot provide us
with a Feedstock Certification form. However, as a regional
Joint Powers Authority, we have flow control agreements with
each member agency within our jurisdiction where these
agricultural companies are located. Since we are the
designated processing facility where these organic materials
are currently being taken by the franchise waste haulers,
can we (the applicant) submit one Feedstock Certification
Form as the processor, if the hauler agrees to provide
tonnage information for the agricultural companies and the
agricultural companies provide individual letters of support
that includes the percentage of organics that they estimate
will be diverted from the landfill as a result of the
Yes, the applicant can submit one CalRecycle 778-GHG (Feedstock Certification) form as the processor.
- We are submitting a cooperative application (between
a government and private business) and had a question on the
requirements of the financial narrative documentation. It
states that the government applications are required to
submit a resolution/commitment/confirmation letters from all
capital funding sources that verifies adequate cash has been
or will be raised to construct the project. The capital
funding for our project is coming from the private business.
As the government agency, we have a resolution that allows
us to apply for CalRecycle grants for 5 years along with
designated signature authority. Is there another document
that we will be required to submit for the financial
narrative portion? I could not find this in the instruction.
For government applicants, the Financial Narrative requires Resolution/commitment/confirmation letters from all capital funding sources (in this case the private business) to verify adequate cash has been or will be raised for the project. All financial documentation provided will be used to evaluate the score fiscal soundness. A resolution from the lead governmental agency is required for application submittal. It must authorize submittal of a cooperative application with the private business and designate the signature authority. This resolution is required by the secondary due date. In addition, the private business must submit a Letter of Authorization.
- Can only the $2,400,000 (for capital expenses) be used to calculate the cost-effectiveness?
- In the Narrative Proposal, you ask for a “binding agreement” between the preprocessor and the receiving facility. If a city is both the preprocessor and the receiving facility, do you still need to supply the “binding agreement”? If no, how do you respond to the question?
No, however this should be clearly explained in your answers to questions regarding the preprocessing and receiving of the material and in your material flow charts.
- On the Project Material Flow Chart, you require a list of “original sources” (generator names). If a city is collecting, hauling, preprocessing, and processing the material, is it required to provide a list of every business and resident in the city? This will be tens of thousands of names. Or is just the name of the city that is all that is required?
Original sources include the collector, hauler, and processor for the jurisdiction in which the organic waste is being generated.
- On the Project Readiness and Permits page, question #5, Current Status of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Review, there is no box for CEQA is complete. If CEQA is complete, how do you answer this question?
Please articulate how far in the CEQA process your project is. If you have completed CEQA, please include that detail in the Permits Section.
- Our project is intending to use organic waste in an anaerobic digester for the production of pipeline quality biogas and organic fertilizer. We have contracts with commodity brokers to supply this waste, which do not allow us to identify all the waste generators. Moreover, we are unable to identify the exact amounts in anticipation of delivery or the specific landfills those materials would be disposed. The exact makeup of the waste will vary seasonally and as waste becomes available to our suppliers due to a variety of conditions. Before attempting to submit an application, would CalRecycle accept a full explanation of our process, feedstock mix along with copies of our contracts with our feedstock providers reflecting the amounts of various waste categories in lieu of the specificity that is articulated in the Application Guidelines and Instructions?
- Is a separate agreement outside of the Feedstock Certification required for a “binding feedstock agreement"? Or does that suffice for the “Binding feedstock agreements”?
No, however, applicants should include all relevant supporting documentation to their project including contracts, MOUs, letters of intent, support, and commitment.
- Will the applicant lose ranking or points for not supplying the 1,000s of pages of franchise agreements as supporting documentation to document these long-standing relationships?
Applicants should include all relevant supporting documentation to their project including contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), letters of intent, support, and commitment. For franchise agreements, CalRecycle would need to be able to review the duration of the agreement, signatures, and any information referencing the organic waste.
- Please provide the language for the Conditions and Certification section of the Grants System Application Certification that the Signature Authority will sign prior to the final submission of the grant application. Previously, this section included language on the Condition of Application Submittal: Acceptance of Grant Agreement Provisions; Environmental Justice; and Certification. If this language has changed, or if there is any other language that will also be included, that is not already in the terms and conditions, can CalRecycle provide it in advance?
Once all application requirements have been met, applicants will check a box to certify that "Applicant acknowledges that submittal of this application constitutes acceptance of all Grant Agreement provisions as contained in the Terms and Conditions and Procedures and Requirements. To download these documents, see Resource Documents section."
Furthermore, the Signature Authority will be required to sign the Application Certification that includes the following provisions:
Condition of Application Submittal: Acceptance of Grant Agreement Provisions
In the event the Applicant is awarded a grant, the submittal of this Application constitutes acceptance of all provisions contained in the Grant Agreement, which consists of the following:
- Executed Grant Agreement Cover Sheet and any approved amendments
- Exhibit A - Terms and Conditions
- Exhibit B - Procedures and Requirements
- Exhibit C - Application with revisions, if any, and any amendments
In the event Applicant is awarded a grant, submittal of this Application constitutes acceptance of the following; that in the performance of the Grant Agreement, Applicant/Grantee shall conduct their programs, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment in a manner that ensures the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and income levels, including minority populations and low-income populations of the State. (see Govt. Code §65040.12(e) and Pub. Resources Code §71110(a))
Signature Authority also certifies:
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California, that funds have been allocated for the project(s)/activities identified in the grant application and that sufficient funds are available to complete the project(s)/activities identified in the grant application, that I have read the Application Guidelines and Instructions and that all information submitted for CalRecycle’s consideration for award of grant funds is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and that on behalf of the Applicant I accept the above conditions of submittal.
- The Work Plan attachments asks applicants to “Provide the resumes of key project personnel and contractors.” Currently, the GMS systems does not offer a place to upload resumes. How/where, should applicants upload resumes for key personnel and contractors?
Resumes should be named as such and uploaded using the "Other" document type.
- The application instructions states “Upload the form along with the required supporting documentation,” in the Feedstock Certification (CalRecycle 778-GHG) section. What is the required supporting documentation that needs to be uploaded?
Applicants should include all relevant supporting documentation to their project including contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), letters of intent, support, and commitment.
- Food and green waste are currently co-mingled with garbage for our current customers. As part of the proposed composting program, additional containers for food and green waste will be provided to customers for segregation of waste, to the furthest extent possible. Given the customers are currently not segregating the waste, an assumption was made on the projected total tonnage available for diversion to the composting yard. To determine the projected total tonnage, the previous year (2016) wastes disposed at the landfill was determined. The total 2016 tonnage disposed at the landfill was then multiplied using a percentage deemed likely by the team for “compostable” materials. The assumed percentage of divertible material for composting used was 15 percent of total disposed tonnage for the year 2016. Does this suffice for tonnage projections for the Feedstock Certifications and Material Flow charts?
Applicants should include as much relevant information pertaining to the project as possible. Please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions and Organics Grant Program – Scoring Criteria for more information.
- Our facility does not produce waste water although we are enrolled in the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Industrial Storm water Permit program. The application (Project Readiness and Permits document) asks for California Integrated Waste Quality System (CIWQS) AT-A-Glance, which we don’t have because we are not in that database. We are not clear how to address this in the application.
This line item is for informational purposes only and is not required for processing your application. This line item may be left blank. Not all facilities issued a permit from the Water Board are included in this database. However, if your facility is enrolled under the Statewide General Industrial Storm Water Permit, you may provide a web link to the Storm Waste Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS) database in lieu of the CIWQS database. The CIWQS database is specifically for facilities that hold an Individual NPDES Storm Water Permit. If your facility does not have either a statewide or an individual NPDES permit, leave this section blank.
Food Waste Prevention and Rescue
- What is food waste prevention software?
Food waste prevention software tracks food purchases and residuals for restaurants, cafeterias, institutions, or other businesses who serve large quantities of food. The software can assist entities to examine their food usage and implement efficient practices like purchasing the correct amounts and types of food, tracking expiration dates, matching menus with food purchases, and other activities that result in food waste prevention.
- Will the food rescue component include feed to
- Can an applicant include a food waste prevention
partner that is not located nearby or within the same waste shed
as the infrastructure project?
Yes. An applicant can submit a joint application with a food waste prevention partner that is not located nearby or within the same waste shed, but some portion of the grant funds requested must still be utilized at the food waste prevention joint applicant’s location.
- Is there a specific amount of funding reserved for food
recovery projects, max amount of funding for food recovery
projects and how divided is the allocation? I understand that
50 percent can be for salaries. Maybe this cost should simply
fall within the compost or digestion program budget, but salaries
would not fit under the infrastructure or performance payment
There is no specific dollar amount of funding specifically reserved for food waste prevention expenditures and that is something the co-applicants must determine. The grant funds are available for projects that compost or digest California-generated green materials or food materials or pre-process these materials for composting or digestion. Grant awards can also fund specific food waste prevention expenditures. Food waste prevention expenditures must be identified in the overall project budget and the 50 percent limit for salaries is calculated based on the budget for the food waste prevention/rescue portion of the project. See the Application Guidelines and Instructions on page 7.
- Is there a specific way in which a food rescue project should set up
its partnership with a compost or digestion facility project? Do we
simply need a commitment to send non-rescued food to this facility?
A compost or digestion facility project that chooses to include a food waste prevention and rescue component can, but does not have to, have a physical relationship, (e.g., food rescue organization sending non-rescued food to the facility). Furthermore, a compost or digestion facility project that chooses to include a food waste prevention and rescue component can, but does not have to, be located in the same region. However, the food waste prevention and rescue component must be included in the project work plan and expenditures must be included in the project budget.
- Is it possible to structure a partnership between a food recovery
project and a digestion or composting project in the following way:
the food recovery project is part of two separate applications for two
different digestion facilities in the same region? Both facilities
depending on the location from which it originates, receives spoiled
rescued food for human consumption.
Two separate Organics Grant Program grant applications can have a partnership with the same food rescue agency. The amount of food waste newly diverted from landfill will be evaluated and scored separately for each application. However, CalRecycle will not fund the same activities or give points for the same tons diverted for a food rescue project twice so the project expenses would have to be separate and distinct and result in separate and distinct food tons diverted from landfills. See the second Question/Answer under Food Waste Prevention and Rescue for additional information. Also see page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Does a food rescue project need a Feedstock Certification form not
only from haulers but also from all farms, events, businesses, etc.
rescuing food and sending it to, for example, a food bank that distributes
to the region?
The Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) is not currently required for the food waste prevention and rescue component of an application. However, quantification and verification of actual food waste recovered will be required as part of annual reporting for awarded projects.
- Is it acceptable to use Organics Grant Program grant funding to purchase a refrigerated truck and hire
a driver both dedicated to grocery recovery, and to purchase some waste handling equipment for our organic
A compost or digestion project may have a food waste prevention/rescue (FWPR) component where up to 50 percent of budget allocation for FWPR can be used for labor costs of the FWPR partner. FWPR budget allocation funds can be used for the purchase of a refrigerated truck and food waste handling equipment. FWPR projects partnered with a compost or digestion project must submit a cooperative application. Please refer to Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
A separate Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program will be available in the spring of 2017. Please subscribe to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Listserv for notification of this grant program.
- Could the beneficiary organization order equipment and be reimbursed directly?
Only the lead participant may be reimbursed directly.
- If food rescue equipment, is considered equipment how can the applicant keep the “equipment” under their “direct” control?
As grantee, all cooperative applicants are considered grantees once awarded. It is incumbent that the lead grantee be involved with the purchasing of equipment and work with each partner to ensure equipment purchases are eligible.
- Can funds be passed to a food rescue non-profit for the purchase of equipment and supplies related to the project as
long as specified in the application?
Yes. Projects with a food waste prevention and rescue component must be included in the budget within the application to clearly identify which costs will be incurred by the food waste prevention and rescue component.
- What portion of the equipment and supplies needs to be grant related? For example:
If freezer blankets were purchased with grant funds and used for 2-3 hours 5 days a week, can they also be used for other food rescue work (not grant related) the remaining time?
Equipment purchased with grant funds must be used primarily for grant related activities.
- Are kitchen appliances that are used to process rescued produce and turn them into sauces for other meals
eligible for the grant?
Yes. Items that aid food waste prevention and rescue are eligible under the Organics Grant Program.
- Is it required for a food waste
prevention program to have a food rescue component in the
proposed scope of work? Or is it possible to have a stand alone
food waste prevention program with a partnered
composting/digestion facility for processing residuals?
A food waste prevention and rescue component is only eligible when collaborating with a compost or a digestion facility.
A food waste prevention and rescue component is not eligible to apply as a stand-alone project--it must be coupled with a composting or digestion operation and apply as a cooperative application. A cooperative application refers to a lead compost or digestion project working cooperatively with a food waste organization, or two composting (or digestion) operations working cooperatively together on one project. Please refer to Eligible Projects section on page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Our project involves the construction of a composting
facility and purchase of specialized equipment to process and
divert non-marketable organic materials that are currently being
landfilled. To satisfy the disadvantaged communities scoring
criteria, our project will include a food rescue component that
involves partnering with a local food bank to increase food
access to disadvantaged community residents. Neither the compost
project site nor the food bank is located in or near a
disadvantaged community. However, the food bank will provide
rescued food to disadvantaged communities within our
jurisdiction. To meet the notification and outreach
requirements, should the outreach take place in the community
surrounding the compost facility site or the food bank site? In
addition, should the outreach include information about the
increased food rescue program or the new compost facility
project (and organics program) or the project as a whole?
Applicants must meet appropriate notification and outreach requirements in the community hosting the facility. Projects not located in disadvantaged communities may receive points for benefitting a disadvantaged community if it includes a food waste prevention component that increases food access to disadvantaged community residents. Outreach efforts may include public meetings to illicit local input and discussion related to the overall project (i.e., community need, benefits to local community, project scope, implementation, etc.).
Greenhouse Gas Calculations
- For unique technologies that may utilize different
quantification methodologies to calculate greenhouse gas
emissions reductions, how do we go about submitting an
application with a different quantification methodology?
Applicants that propose eligible projects (i.e., consistent with the eligibility requirements within CalRecycle’s solicitation materials) that cannot be calculated using the Air Resources Board’s greenhouse gas quantification methodology may propose the use an alternative GHG quantification method. Review the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Timeline section on page 3 and the Alternative Methodology Request and Process section on pages 14 and 15 for instructions.
- I have a project that applies solid digestate to land application.
In the Air Resources Board quantification methodology, I only see landfill
and composting. What should I do?
You will need to submit a request for an alternative methodology by February 16, 2017. Please see instructions on pages 14-15 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Can greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits due to shorter transportation routes
be included in the GHG calculations?
The Air Resources Board (ARB) has developed a quantification methodology and associated calculator, which should be used to quantify the GHG emission reduction for your project. See Waste Diversion GHG Emission Reduction Calculator for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17.*
- What is the appropriate way for us to determine net tons of food waste
for the calculator tool? Being that all food waste currently goes into
the landfill, should we use CalRecycle’s waste characterization studies
to go off? We have all the tonnage that goes to the landfill. We are just
not sure how to break it down percentage wise to determine tons of food waste
that will be acceptable for this grant cycle.
The generators who are currently sending food waste to the landfill should complete a Feedstock Certification form that includes the tons of food waste that will be supplied to your project. The tons of food waste from the Feedstock Certification form (CalRecycle 778-GHG, Fillable PDF) should be summed and residuals that will be sent to a landfill subtracted to determine the net tons of diverted food waste that should be input into the calculator tool.
- Project scenario: A project proposes to use anaerobic digestion to convert green waste into biogas and digestate.
The digestate is subsequently blended with other materials, and aerobically processed to make an improved, eligible
alternate daily cover (ADC). In the absence of the project, the green waste would continue to be used as ADC
without any conversion or processing but would not be eligible for diversion credit. With the project, the
ADC product produced is eligible for diversion and the use of this stabilized ADC product results in reduced
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to fresh green waste used as ADC.
Using the above scenario, will the calculations for tons of green waste digested be reduced, and undifferentiated from the current use of unprocessed green waste as ADC?
Digestate used as ADC does not qualify as new landfill diversion under this program, and should not be included in the “Net Tons of Newly Diverted Organic Material” form, but should be included in the ARB-approved GHG Emission Reduction Calculator as “digestate that is landfilled”. Please refer to Project Requirements on Page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Project scenario: A project proposes to use advanced "dirty" material recovery facility (MRF) technology to process
black bin waste to recover the digestible fraction organic fraction municipal solid waste (OFMSW), remaining recyclables,
and high British thermal unit (BTU) fraction for refuse-derived fuel (RDF). The OFMSW is comprised of food waste,
green waste, compostable packaging, soiled non-recyclable paper, and natural textile fibers. The OFMSW is anaerobically
digested, and the digestate is subsequently blended with other materials and additionally aerobically processed to make
an eligible alternative daily cover (ADC). In the absence of the project, 100 percent of the black bin waste would be
landfilled. With the project, the ADC produced is eligible for diversion and the use of this stabilized ADC product
results in reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to landfilling of the original black bin waste.
In the GHG calculation spreadsheet, where only columns for food waste and green waste are included, how should the additional materials within the OFMSW be reflected?
There is currently no option to specify feedstock characteristics for AD projects within the ARB-approved GHG Emission Reduction Calculator.
In addition, digestate used as ADC does not qualify as new landfill diversion under this program, and should not be included in the “Net Tons of Newly Diverted Organic Material” form, but should be included within the ARB-approved GHG Emission Reduction Calculator as “digestate that is landfilled”.
Finally, only food waste, green waste, and food soiled paper can qualify as feedstocks for the purposes of calculating new landfill diversion. Please quantify any other materials processed and account for them appropriately. Please refer to Project Requirements on Page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Project scenario: A project proposes to use anaerobic digestion to convert green waste, source-separated organics
(SSO), and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) recovered in a material recovery facility (MRF) into
biogas and digestate. The digestate is aerobically processed to make compost where chemical and physical
characteristics meet all standards for a high quality compost. Existing California regulations define compost as
a "product by process" which is entirely aerobic and for a specified period of time. A compost produced via a
combination of anaerobic and aerobic processing does not fit within the current definitions.
Using the above scenario, will the final product be considered compost?
Yes. California Public Resources Code, Chapter 3.1, Section 40116 defines “compost” as “the product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of organic wastes that are source separated from the municipal solid waste stream, or which are separated at a centralized facility. Compost includes vegetable, yard, and wood wastes which are not hazardous waste. 40116.1 defines “composting” as “the controlled or uncontrolled biological decomposition of organic wastes.” The California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 17225.14 defines composting as “a controlled microbial degradation of organic wastes yielding a safe and nuisance free product.” A product that meets these definitions and other Chapter 3.1 requirements is considered compost.
- If projects such as biochar and livestock feed are
applicable, would the projects required an Alternative
Methodology Request? If so, are we too late to apply?
Biochar and animal feed are not eligible for the Organics Grant Program.
- The Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Calculator only calculates
emissions reduced over the next 10 years. Is this because the
Grant Program is only focused on the next 10 years of reductions
or can an applicant add additional years if their program is
anticipated to continue to reduce GHG emissions beyond the next
The project life of the Organics Grant Program ends December 31, 2026. Please refer to Final Report section on pages 9 and 10 of the Procedures and Requirements.
- Why did CalRecycle and California Air Resources Board (CARB)
modify CARB’s compost emission reduction factors (CERF) from the
draft Method for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions
from Diversion of Organic Waste from Landfills to Compost
Facilities which was 0.62 MTCO2e/ton of feedstock for food waste
in an aerated static pile composting process, to 0.36
MTCO2e/short ton of feedstock for food waste in an aerated
static pile composting process as provided in final CARB/CalRecycle
greenhouse gas (GHG) excel calculator? Please provide the
CARB made modifications to the CERF to make the Quantification Methodology reflect project specific applications. In this case, emission reductions resulting from the application of compost are outside of the GHG accounting boundary for this program and are excluded from the emission reduction factor. Please see the GHG Emission Reduction Calculator for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 spreadsheet for an accounting of how the emission reduction factor was calculated.