Questions and Answers: Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program (FY 2021-22)

Questions about the Community Composting for Green Spaces grant application are accepted in writing only, no later than December 19, 2023. Similar or related questions may be grouped together or reworded for clarity and responded to as one question.

All questions and answers will be posted during the application period and are subject to updates. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check this website for the latest information regarding this grant cycle.

General | Eligibility | Funding | Application



    1. What is the definition of composting projects for this grant program?
      For this program, composting projects must utilize organic materials that would otherwise be sent to a California landfill as feedstock, and result in a stable, finished product that is free of pests and pathogens. Finished product testing is an eligible expense.
    2. What are the changes to the Limited Waiver of Sovereignty?
      The Limited Waiver of Sovereignty was removed from the Terms and Conditions for CCG3 and is not a requirement for this cycle.
    3. Are the dates listed wrong? Why do the website and e-mail list (listserv) messages say Fiscal Year 2021-22?
      The years refer to the funding source, not to when the application is open or when grants are awarded. Both Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 of the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program are funded by a Fiscal Year 2021–22 allocation.
    4. How long is the grant period?
      The Grant Term is from when the Notice to Proceed is emailed by CalRecycle until April 1, 2026.
    5. Is DocuSign an acceptable certified digital signature program?
      Yes, DocuSign is an acceptable certified digital signature for application documents. E-signatures must include the first and last name of the Signature Authority, be in the Adobe Digital ID format or DocuSign, and cannot be the “Fill and Sign” function within Adobe. Any documents using the “Fill and Sign” method are considered incomplete and may be sent back to the grantee. If you have questions, email


    1. Do we need to already be experts in composting?
      No, grant funds can be used for composting training and technical assistance. This cost can be included in the Budget with the Application.
    2. Does a Qualifying Tribal Entity need to already have a composting program to apply for this grant?
      No, a Qualifying Tribal Entity that wishes to start composting is eligible to apply.
    3. What are the Project Requirements for CCG3?
      All project sites must be located in California and on lands under the ownership, management, or stewardship of members of a tribal community.
      All project sites must result in the creation of new, improved, or expanded community composting sites. Application Guidelines and Instructions
    4. Can individuals affiliated with tribes apply?
      Individual people cannot be directly awarded a grant. Community members can work with Qualifying Tribal Entities to support them in applying for grant funds.
    5. Are in-vessel anaerobic digesters an allowable expense in this cycle?
      No, these systems are outside the scope of this cycle. If there is significant interest in in-vessel digestion or composting systems, then CalRecycle will consider that when developing future grant cycles. In-vessel technology was eligible in Cycle 7 of the Organics Grant Program.
    6. Can schools be project sites? Are there restrictions about what type of schools (for example, charter, public)?
      Yes, a school can be a project site, if the school is within the tribal community and the Qualifying Tribal Entity, not the school, is the applicant.
    7. We have a food sovereignty program that feeds our tribal elders. Can these funds be used for that program?
      Funds from this program are specifically for community composting. However, a community composting project could complement a food sovereignty program. For example, eligible activities in this cycle include recycling any food waste, (which may be generated by a meal program) as well as providing compost for soil fertility for foods being grown in a food sovereignty program.
    8. Does putting office paper in the compost count as an eligible activity for this cycle?
      We encourage you to first try to recycle office paper. Additionally, it is important to be mindful about inks and possible toxicity, as well as the relative percent of feedstock that is comprised of a single item. Training and technical assistance are allowed costs for this grant to help learn more about composting best management practices.
    9. Are worms and soldier fly larvae eligible costs under this cycle?
      Yes, this cycle supports the purchase of composting microlivestock, including both worms and soldier fly larvae. If you are interested in another insect or microorganisms to help break down or decompose organic material, please let us know so that we can potentially add it to our list of eligible costs.
    10. Does wood from our forests and/or timber count as eligible feedstock for community composting?
      Any organic material that would have otherwise been sent to a California landfill counts as eligible feedstock for community composting under this program.
    11. Can we sell the compost that is produced, or use it to grow vegetables? Does it have to be applied to land at the project site?
      The intention of this Program is for the community composting process, including the beneficial use of compost as a finished, stable product to support green spaces in your community. There is no rule in this program against selling the compost or accepting donations when distributing it. There is also no rule that compost must be applied onsite.
    12. Are we required to track the amount of material diverted from landfills or the amount of compost produced with this project? Can we get help with tracking?
      Awarded grantees are not required to track the amount of material diverted from landfills or the amount of compost produced from the project for this cycle. Awarded grantees that wish to track material diverted from landfill and/or greenhouse gases reduced by their project can use grant funds for that work. CalRecycle can provide support to grantees who wish to track the data. Data tracking can be useful in understanding the full benefits of your project, and useful when encouraging others to value, support, or participate in the project.
    13. Can we buy a truck/vehicle with CCG3 grant funds?
      Purchase or retrofit of vehicles are not currently eligible expenses under this program. Please consider providing CalRecycle with additional information about why you need a truck/vehicle for your community composting project, it may help us expand the eligible costs for this Program in the future.
    14. Can schools apply?
      Only Qualifying Tribal Entities are eligible applicants for this Cycle. However, Qualifying Tribal Entities can select appropriate Project Sites within their communities for this cycle and these appropriate Project Sites can be located at schools.
    15. Are costs for composter trainings, including tuition, books, and an exam fee to achieve professional certification, eligible in the “Education and Outreach” budget category? Copies of the books will remain at the site as reference guides.
      Costs for training for site operators are eligible costs in the Education and Outreach budget category, including costs for books and exam fees. Please note the following:

      1. Salaries covering personnel and contractors to conduct education and outreach activities should be included in the Personnel budget category.
      2. Costs for staff time and benefits paid for hours to attend external training should be included in the Personnel budget category.


    1. Is this a reimbursement grant or do we get the funds (if awarded) at the beginning of the grant term?
      CCG3 is a reimbursement grant.CalRecycle included an Optional Payment Request Proposal in CCG3. An awarded grantee may submit a payment request proposal to request a one-time payment of up to 25 percent of the grant award.All other payments are made to the grantee on a reimbursement basis only for eligible costs incurred during the Grant Term and detailed in the approved Budget and supporting tasks on the approved Work Plan. To be eligible for reimbursement, costs must be incurred and fully paid (payments must be cleared), and all grant-funded items must be received by the grantee, after receiving a Notice to Proceed and before the end of the Grant Term.
    2. Will there be advance payments in this cycle?
      CalRecycle included an Optional Payment Request Proposal in this CCG3 grant cycle. An awarded grantee may submit a payment request proposal in the Reports tab of GMS to request a one-time payment of up to 25 percent of the grant award.CalRecycle does not currently have statutory authority to issue advance payments for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program.
    3. How much is the percentage for Indirect Costs?
      CalRecycle included a higher Indirect Cost percentage cap in this Cycle compared to previous cycles. Grantees may use a Qualifying Tribal Entity’s approved Indirect Cost Rate, not to exceed 40 percent of the total grant award.
      If an applicant does not have an approved Indirect Cost Rate, then Indirect Costs up to 25 percent of the total grant award can be claimed.In many programs, overhead or indirect rates include direct personnel costs, not just supervision and management. There is no cap on personnel costs in this cycle, so we encourage applicants to break out those costs if possible, and only include the indirect personnel and other administrative costs from their standard rate in the Indirect category.
    4. Is it allowable to use funds from the Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as matching funds support some costs for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Project if awarded?
      Please note that matching funds are not a requirement for this program. However, it is allowable to use funds from other sources to complete the Grant Project if you are awarded. Please include information about other sources of funding for your composting project in the columns “Name of Other Funding Source” and “Total From Other Funding Source” in the Budget Template with the Application.


    1. When is the application due?
      Applications for CCG3 are due January 23, 2024.
    2. Where can I find the CCG3 Application directions and other information?
      The Application Guidelines and Instructions and other relevant documents are at Notice of Funds Available: Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program, Cycle 3 (FY 2021-22) – CalRecycle Home Page.
    3. Can multiple Tribes apply together?Yes, multiple Qualifying Tribal Entities may join together in a Cooperative Application in which two or more Qualifying Tribal Entities join together for the purpose of grant implementation.
    4. Our site is currently being developed and will be fully operational by January 2025 when composting activities will commence. Does this present an issue? The facility will remain open in perpetuity.
      A site currently being developed for composting is allowable, as long as the project is able to be implemented during the Grant Term. The creation of new sites for composting is an eligible grant activity. However, any costs incurred prior to the execution of a Grant Agreement and Notice to Proceed will not be eligible for grant funds.
    5. Is providing the estimated totals of organic material composted and estimates amounts for each expected source of organics material acceptable in answer to Question 2.v. and in the Narrative Proposal?
      Yes, estimates are acceptable. Please describe the estimated pounds of organic material you anticipate composting during the Grant Term and note the anticipated sources of those materials. You should consider factors such as ramp-up periods and potential increases in food scrap collection over the Grant Term when calculating these estimates. It may help you to break this down into months or quarters to account for changes in inputs over time.
    6. We have a number of collection locations with containers throughout the community. Should each of these locations be listed as separate sites?
      Collection locations are not considered grant sites and should not be listed in the Site tab. Sites are the locations where composting will take place.
      Please describe the collection locations briefly when providing an overview of the proposed grant project in response to Question 1 in the Narrative Proposal, and in detail when describing the proposed process for collecting materials to compost in response to Question 5 in the Narrative Proposal.

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