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Circular Economy Grant program

Circular Economy Grant: Waste Less, Conserve More


The Circular Economy Grant (CEG) program provides $5,000-$25,000 in funding for non-profit organizations to lead local waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting initiatives to help Calgary move to a circular economy. This pilot program started in 2023 and will run through 2026.

What is a circular economy?

A circular economy eliminates waste and pollution, and conserves resources. It is a shift from a throw-away to a circular mindset to extend the lifecycle of goods, food, and resources through better design and continuous reuse, so nothing goes to waste.

Program Details and Requirements


Grant Funding

The City of Calgary will accept grant funding applications for a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $25,000. Funds for each project will be allocated for a one-year term and projects must be delivered within the one-year timeframe.

This pilot program started in 2023 and will run through 2026. Total funding for each year is $150,000. There is no matching funding requirement. However, applicants are encouraged to have their own contingency funds available.

The Circular Economy Grant recipients may apply for subsequent years' funding with a different proposal if their awarded project has been completed before the grant application re-opens. Please note that the priority will be given to organizations that have yet to receive funding.

Eligibility

Eligible Organizations

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be a not-for-profit organization or Society registered in Alberta, or extra-provincially registered in Alberta (e.g., if a Federal not-for profit) or a Business Improvement Area (BIA) established through a City of Calgary bylaw, and have the intent of providing the proposed project in Calgary and to Calgary residents.

Eligible non-profit organizations could include:

  • Community Associations
  • Community Organizations
  • Registered Charitable Organizations
  • Environmental Organizations
  • Social Recreation Organizations (e.g., senior clubs)
  • Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)
  • Festival and Events' Organizers

For full details on eligibility requirements, please download the CEG Guidelines document.

Eligible Projects

The Circular Economy Grant will provide funding for projects to support community-based actions that contribute to the circular economy in Calgary.

Objectives

Proposed projects should meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • Initiate innovative projects and new programs or services to support the movement towards a circular economy.
  • Develop innovative methods of recycling or composting collection to reduce the amount of materials going to landfill.
  • Enable, empower, and educate individuals, organizations and/or communities to participate in activities that result in the reduction, reuse, or diversion of waste.
  • Support individuals, organizations and/or communities who are working towards a circular economy.
  • Help individuals, organizations and/or communities that might otherwise be hard to reach and have limited access to programs.

Project examples

Ideas can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Creating spaces where people can share, borrow, or fix things to make them last longer (e.g., a tool library where you can borrow tools, events where you can swap clothes, sports equipment, or toys, or a repair workshop for bikes or clothing).
  • Finding new uses for things usually being thrown away when broken (e.g., recycling, repurposing, reusing, or repairing electronics or clothing).
  • Teaching and engaging people about reducing waste (e.g., workshops to teach people about circular economy and/or training to learn new skills to repair or upcycle goods).
  • Focusing on specific areas and materials to reduce waste (e.g., projects to reduce waste from home renovations or initiatives to use fewer single-use items).
  • Finding ways to reuse or reduce food waste (e.g., sharing ideas on how to preserve food and use food scraps, or setting up community composting).
  • Creating new and functional items using materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
  • Developing technology that helps reduce waste.
  • Using strategies to change people’s behaviour to create less waste and turn materials away from the landfill.

For full details on eligibility requirements, please download the CEG Guidelines document.

Not sure if your project idea qualifies for funding?

Application Steps

The application process includes two stages: the Preliminary Application Stage and the Detailed Application Stage. Follow these steps in each stage to prepare and submit your application.

Preliminary Application Stage

1. Review the eligibility criteria

Make sure your organization and project details align with the eligibility criteria.

2. Come up with a great idea!

3. Join an information session

Join one of the following online info sessions to learn more about the grant application process and get your questions answered.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 11:00 a.m. Register Now.
Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 7:00 p.m. Register Now.

4. Review the preliminary application and grant resources

CEG Guidelines (updated August 21, 2023)
CEG Preliminary Application (for preview only)

5. Getting the preliminary application started

If you aren’t sure where to begin preparing the preliminary application, check out this list:

Things to Consider When Preparing the Preliminary Application

Have any questions about your application? 

6. Submit the preliminary application

Start the application now by clicking on the “Apply Now" button below. We encourage all applicants to draft and save their responses offline before copying them into the online form. If you have any issues with the online form, please contact research coordinator Kristen Brown at Kristen.brown@calgary.ca.

It is important for applicants to keep a complete copy of their application for their own records should The City of Calgary have questions regarding the application.

Preliminary Applications are now closed for the Circular Economy Grant. Please check back for grant reopen date in the future.

7. What happens after you apply?

The Circular Economy Grant evaluation committee will review all preliminary applications based on the funding and eligibility criteria outlined in CEG Guidelines.

If you are successful during the Preliminary Application Stage, you will receive an email outlining the next steps of the application process, including an invite to submit a detailed application. If your application is not selected to move on to the Detailed Application Stage, you will have the option to receive feedback and recommendations.

Detailed Application Stage

Selected preliminary applicants will be notified to proceed to the Detailed Application Stage. Please note that an invitation to move on to the Detailed Application Stage is not a guarantee of funding.

Review the detailed application and grant resources:
CEG Detailed Application (for preview only)
CEG Project Timeline and Activity Template
CEG Budget Template

Detailed applications are fully reviewed considering the rationale, project plan, community benefit and engagement, new ideas and innovation, collaboration and partnerships, risks and barriers, project evaluation, project sustainability, and budget plan.

All applicants in the Detailed Application Stage will be notified of final decisions. Successful applicants will receive a funding approval letter and will be required to sign a funding agreement. Applicants that are not successful will have the option to receive feedback and recommendations.

Important Dates

  • Preliminary Application open: February 1, 2024, 00:01 a.m.
  • Preliminary Application deadline: February 28, 2024, 11:59 p.m.
  • Preliminary Applications decision notification: April 5, 2024 (latest date to notify)
  • Detailed Application deadline: May 8, 2024, 11:59 p.m.
  • Detailed Applications decision notification: June 14, 2024 (latest date to notify)
  • Circular Economy Grant projects begin: September 30, 2024 (latest date to begin)
  • Circular Economy Grant projects complete: September 30, 2025 (latest date to complete)
  • Final reporting due: November 30, 2025

Please note that dates may change – please check on the website for any changes.

Reporting

Each grant recipient will be required to submit quarterly reports and a final report as outlined in the funding agreement with the City of Calgary.

Review the reporting templates:
CEG Reporting Template – Quarterly
CEG Reporting Template – Final

2023 Circular Economy Grant Recipients

This project will embed “circular economy learning” into the Alex’s new produce market operation and food-related programs, which include setting up a refillery station in the market, piloting a “Scrappy Kitchen” program, and building a composting demonstration centre.

This project will divert outdoor recreation material waste through organizing in-person school presentations and online workshops, outdoor gear repair events, an outdoor gear library and the ChangeMaker online hub.

This project will host hands-on workshops for newcomers on basic home maintenance and repair, educate them on when to call service technicians and teach them how to properly recycle household items. Workshop will be available in multiple languages and for participants as young as 16 years old.

Elements will offer 10 workshops, both in-person and online, to educate the public on what food waste is, why it is such a problem, and how they can add simple actions into their routines to reduce or avoid food waste altogether.

This project aims to reduce food waste by taking leftover food from community events, portioning it into meals, freezing it, and providing it to community members in need.

This project is a partnership between Silvera for Seniors and Free Little Fibre Libraries. The project will reuse and upcycle fibre and yarn through building Free Fibre Libraries in communities, setting up knitting thrift stores, and organizing knitting clubs.

Temple Community Association will acquire tools and supplies to repair and maintain tables and chairs at community buildings, as well as refurbish worn furniture.

Are applications open?

Preliminary Applications are now closed for the Circular Economy Grant. Please check back for grant reopen date in the future.

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