Questions about the Community Composting for Green Spaces Cycle 2 grant application are accepted in writing only, no later than September 13, 2022. 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
- What is the definition of composting for this program?
Composting is the biological process for turning organic waste into stabilized compost, as defined in 14 California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 17852(a)(36). The following composting processes are eligible for funding under this grant program and are defined in 14 CCR Section 17852: aerated static pile, static pile, windrow, and vermicomposting. The finished compost product must be safe and nuisance free.
- Is there a funding match from our organization or other sources to qualify for this grant?
There is no direct requirement for a funding match.
Criteria do include, among others:
“Applicant explains how they will cover the costs of implementing the Project prior to being reimbursed with grant funds. Applicant explains any other resources which will be used to implement the grant project. Applicant includes any in-kind donations, other grants or funds, local government contributions, and any other sources of funding, training, or equipment.”
Applicant must “…describe any other resources the Applicant will utilize to leverage the funding from CalRecycle and effectively and efficiently implement the Program.”
Please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions and the Scoring Criteria for more information.
- What is the number of projects that will be funded in each region? Can multiple applications be awarded up to the allocated amount for that region? What Region is my Project in?
This program is intended to select one application per Region to implement a project that supports community composting sites throughout their Region. Funds will be awarded to the highest scoring, passing application in each of the Regions. Only one application may be awarded per region. An applicant’s Region is where the composting will be. Grant Award amounts are determined by Region, as follows:
Table. Community Composting Grant (CCG2) Region Counties and Allocations
Region Counties Included Allocation Inland Empire Riverside and San Bernardino $547,000 Greater Los Angeles Area Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and Ventura $1,232,000 San Diego and Imperial Area San Diego and Imperial $365,000 Sacramento Valley Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba $358,000 San Joaquin Valley Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, and Tulare $716,000 San Francisco Bay Area Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and San Benito $422,000 Northern Area Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Sierra $300,000 Central Sierra Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne $300,000
- Does the Lead Applicant have to hold individual insurance policies for each project site developed under the grant agreement, or does general liability insurance cover the Lead Applicant activities and their approved site managers under the terms of the grant agreement?
CalRecycle does not have any specific requirements regarding the level of insurance a grantee must maintain regarding the project sites. It is recommended that applicants check with their current insurance provider and other entities that have done similar work to see what types of coverage may be needed.
- Have Grantees for this grant program been selected yet? If so, how do we get in contact with them?
The Grantees for this grant program will be selected after the applications are reviewed and scored, and Grants are approved for award. We anticipate announcing the Grant awards in February of 2022. Those interested are encouraged to sign up for the Program listserv and watch for related announcements.
- Who can we contact to bring the organic food waste for community composting? Who is our local collaborative organization? What are the best local facilities to work with for hiring and training Priority Populations?
A plan for, and the ability to succeed at, outreach to implement community composting at Project Sites, and to provide Education and Training, in Priority Population Communities are part of what Eligible Applications will be evaluated for. Project Sites may have their own organic waste, and the project might entail a plan to receive the waste from others. CalRecycle is unable to recommend trainers for this program. Please see the Scoring Criteria for more information.
- We are a 501(c)3 non-profit in California that runs youth driven programs. What are our chances of being awarded this grant to install and maintain composters at our local public schools to compost food-based waste generated there?
This is a competitive program. The likelihood of an Eligible Applicant proposing an Eligible Project being awarded would depend on how well their application, following the guidance in the Application Guidelines and Instructions, matches the Scoring Criteria, compared to any others applying in that Region.
- Can we sell the finished compost product, and, if so, who is a good contact at departments or facilities to do so?
The intention of this Program is for the community composting process, including the finished, stable product, to support green spaces in Priority Population communities. There is no rule in this Program against selling the compost or accepting donations when distributing it. However, the application should include support and explanation as to how that sale supports the goals of the Program. The CalRecycle Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program is unable to recommend avenues or contacts to sell compost.
- How could we complete with the testing requirements if our program is decentralized within the city. Specifically, some of the composting is at businesses and/or private residences.
This Program requires testing of compost at all Project Sites supported by awarded projects. Typically, a sample of compost is collected at the composting site and sent to a lab for testing. Please note that there are a number of requirements for Project Sites to be eligible to participate in this program including that the site be accessible to the public for multiple hours each week. Site Managers of all Project Sites must agree to these and all other program requirements before a site is approved. Please see the section on “Project Requirements” in the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.
- If a city develops a composting site under this grant, can the material be given away to residents? Would this count towards Senate Bill (SB) 1383 Procurement?
The intention of this Program is for the community composting process, including the finished, stable product, to support green spaces in Priority Population communities. This can include giving away the compost to local residents. Please contact your CalRecycle Local Assistance and Market Development (LAMD) contact with questions about SB 1383 requirements.
- Where can I find a list of awardees from the first cycle of Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program?
To see who was awarded in Cycle 1, go to Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program, scroll down to “Awarded Cycles” under “Cycle Specific Information”, and click on “CCG1 Awards”.
- When should we submit requests to CalRecycle for Project Sites located near the border of a neighboring Region? In the Application, or after Award?
Requests for allowance for Project Sites in a neighboring Region should be submitted after Award, during the Grant Term. Bonus points for sites selected in the application are only for sites in the Project Region.
- Can you please advise what the criteria are for determining if your community is considered a low income population or a disadvantaged community (DAC) for this composting grant program?
To determine if a community is considered disadvantaged or low income, please refer to communities geographically designated in the updated version of the California Climate Investments Priority Populations 2022 CalEnviroscreen 4.0 Mapping Tool.
Priority Populations include disadvantaged and low-income communities and are defined by Assembly Bill 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statutes of 2016) and California Air Resources Board 2018 Funding Guidelines for Agencies Administering California Climate Investments 2022 Update to Section VII.B on Priority Population Definitions.
- What is the definition of composting for this program?
Low-income communities include the census tracts with:
- Median household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income, or
- Median household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low-income by Department of Housing and Community Development’s State Income Limits (HCD State Income Limits)
Disadvantaged communities include the following:
- Census tracts with the highest 25 percent of overall scores in the State based on CalEnviroScreen 4.0;
- Census tracts lacking overall scores in CalEnviroScreen 4.0 due to data gaps but receiving the highest five percent of scores on a composite score measuring cumulative pollution burden;
- Census tracts identified in the 2017 Senate Bill 535 disadvantaged communities designation as disadvantaged, regardless of their scores in CalEnviroScreen 4.0;
- and Lands under the control of federally recognized Tribes
- Would public elementary schools or K-12 School Districts be eligible to apply for the composting grant?
This program is intended to select one Application per region to support community composting throughout their region. Public elementary schools and school districts are not included in the “Eligible Applicants” list in the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Please note that the requirements for eligible project sites are not the same as for eligible applicants. Public elementary schools are eligible as project sites if they meet all the requirements. Individual schools must check with their district for guidance for their rules or requirements for the district. Schools can contact the Grantee in their region after the cycle is awarded. Please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.
- I am interested in implementing a community composting program. It sounds like this grant targets an overarching organization to oversee the grant funds throughout an Applicant’s entire region. We would like to be considered for a community composting project site. Are there already organizations that are considering site locations as a part of their grant application, or will they be selecting site locations after the grant has been awarded?
Parties interested in hosting or managing a project site and who are not eligible for, or interested in applying themselves, can sign up for the Program listserv and watch for announcements of awards. Those parties can also reach out to other organizations working in their Region who may be eligible and interested to apply for the grant. Parties can also contact the Grantee in their Region after the cycle is awarded. Applications may include one or more pre-selected project sites, but are not required to. CalRecycle will approve up to eight Applications for award. These will each have one Lead Participant and may also have one or more Non-Lead Participants. The awarded Participant(s) will select community composting project sites throughout the region. Project site locations not selected ahead of time will be determined after the grant is awarded. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- I am not sure if my organization should apply for the Grant, or wait until the Grant is awarded to contact our Region’s Grantee about suggesting a project site. How do I know what is the best fit for our group?
The best fit for your group depends on your organizational capacity, internal systems, and the strength of your team and your partnerships. The competitive applicant will need a variety of skills and abilities:
• Regional reach or strong partners in multiple locations who can provide assistance and training to project sites around your Region.
• The ability to run effective outreach to select Project Sites in Priority Population communities and credibility with community groups.
• The ability to collaborate with community groups on the design and implementation of Project Site Plans that will support the unique needs of their community.
• Strong purchasing and accounting systems, established personnel practices, and internal financial controls.
• The ability to track and analyze data and write complex reports.
• The financial ability to cover the costs of implementing the Project prior to being reimbursed with grant funds.
If your organization is lacking in any of these key areas, it may be best to contact the Grantee in your Region once awarded. Parties interested in managing a project site are encouraged to sign up for the Program listserv. Parties may also reach out to others working in their region who may be interested in and eligible to apply for the grant. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Are University of California (UC) campuses able to apply for this grant? Are California State University (CSU) campuses eligible for a project site?
UC and CSU campuses are both included in the “Eligible Applicants” list in the Application Guidelines and Instructions, and are eligible to apply for this grant if they meet all the other requirements. UC and CSU campuses are also both eligible to be project sites if they meet all the requirements. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Are local governments allowed to apply for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program?
Yes, local Governments are eligible to apply for this grant if they meet all the other eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Do we already have to have an existing program, or can we establish one with the grants? Entities may have an eligible project without a prior community composting program. Applicants must have the ability, resources, skills, etc. to implement the project. For more information about project requirements, please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Do public school gardens count as an eligible “Green Space” as part of this grant opportunity?
Yes. As described in the Eligibility, Scoring Criteria, and Evaluation Process for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program (General Fund, Fiscal Year 2021‒22) Request for Approval, “Green spaces include community gardens, urban farms, and other public spaces where small-scale composting is appropriate.” Public Schools are considered eligible Project Sites if they meet all other requirements. Public School students are considered the public for the purposes of this program’s rules requiring project sites are accessible to the public. For more information, please see the Project Requirements section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- My organization imports and sells a machine that converts organic food waste to make animal food and biodegradable straws. Is that an eligible project for this Program?
No, Eligible Projects must include community composting and result in finished compost. For more information, please see the Project Requirements section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions and the answer to Question 1 in the General category from Round one of these Questions and Answers.
- Can compost for the whole project only include organic waste such as tree trimmings without food waste?
Yes. However, a competitive application would need to support how limiting a project to specific materials like tree trimmings is an effective way to promote community composting in the Region.
- We are an organization outside the United States and are very interested in your program. How can we have this implemented here?
Only projects within California are Eligible for funding from this program. To learn more about this program for inspiration on how to support community composting in other places, please visit the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program, join the CalRecycle Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grants Program list serve, and view a training Video of the Soil Stewardship Training funded by the first cycle of the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program on the YouTube channel of the California Alliance for Community Composting.
- We are a California County. Could grant funding be used to support local community composting on land that is not owned or operated by the County to provide community composting for the residents that produce a minute amount of organics. Would this comply with SB1383 requirement?
Yes, grant funding can be used for this as long as the work meets the rest of the Project Requirements, and the locations meet the requirements for Project Sites in the Applications Guidelines and Instructions. Please contact your CalRecycle Local Assistance and Market Development (LAMD) contact representative for questions about SB 1383 compliance.
- Would a pilot composting project at a county park be eligible for this grant, or does it need to be a project that impacts a larger area?
This could qualify as a Project Site if it meets all other requirements. Eligible Projects must have multiple Project Sites. The majority of Project Sites will be selected after CalRecycle awards a grant project for each Region. The Grantee for each region will be responsible for working with community groups to create, expand and improve community composting sites within their Region. CalRecycle will provide a listing of Grantees, after award, so groups interested in managing a Project Site can contact the awarded Grantee. Please see the “Eligible Projects” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.
- Would a California county be eligible to solely submit an application for a composting hub pilot? Or would this not be competitive?
An individual application by a California County would be eligible as long as it meets all requirements. Please see the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information. The application would be competitive depending on how well it matches the Scoring Criteria compared to other applications in the Region. Eligible Projects must also “include regional plans for outreach for the grant project and collaboration with community groups on the creation, improvement, or expansion of community composting sites throughout the Region”. Please see the “Eligible Projects” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.
- I see that applicant eligibility for nonprofit organizations does not include private schools. Would a private 501(c)3 college be allowed to apply?
Our college currently operates a Cafeteria to Compost and community compost hub and has developed a 4-week training and certificate program with a local Compost nonprofit. We would like to work with our local California Community Colleges and California State Universities (CSUs) to train and provide technical assistance on how to develop successful campus cafeteria to compost programs on their campuses.
This program is intended to award one Application per Region to support community composting throughout their Region. Private 501(c)3 colleges are not “Eligible Applicants”, which are listed in the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Please note that the requirements for eligible Project Sites are not the same as for Eligible Applicants. Private colleges are eligible as Project Sites if they meet all the requirements. Please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions to for more information.
- Is soil health education an eligible activity for this grant program?
Yes, as long as the education supports creating, improving, or expanding community composting operations at multiple sites within one geographic Region, and meets all other requirements. Training, guidance, and technical assistance on composting Best Management Practices, with an emphasis on serving Priority Population communities, are required for each project. Please refer to the “Project Requirements” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions and the Public Notice: Eligibility, Scoring Criteria, and Evaluation Process for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program (General Fund, Fiscal Year 2021-22) for more information.
- Some of our proposed Project Sites are available to residents of affordable housing and homeless shelters 24/7, 365 days per year, to just over 650 residents and their guests. Does this meet the requirement for Project Sites to be publicly accessible for at least four hours per week?
There may be circumstances where site access is limited. When a community group requests restricted access to their site the awarded Grantee should submit requests to their CalRecycle grant manager and receive approval before moving forward with any Project Site plans. Spaces available for a minimum of four hours a week to residents of the following facility types meet the criteria as available to the public for the purposes of this program, even if those spaces are not available to others:
• Shelters for unhoused persons (defined as a public or private-nonprofit facilities that temporarily provide shelter for unhoused, or homeless, persons),
• Affordable public housing (defined as government or non-profit owned housing intended as aimed at providing below-market rate rental housing to people with lower income, people with disabilities, and seniors),
• And shelters for battered persons (defined as a public or private-nonprofit residential facility that serves battered adults and children fleeing domestic violence).
- Is a shredding leaf vacuum considered a “chipper/grinder”, which is an ineligible cost?
No. A shredding leaf vacuum is eligible. However, it is recommended that project site operators confer with the Regional grantee to determine the most appropriate equipment to use. Please also consider the safety of Project Site participants when considering any equipment like this.
- We are located in a town in a California County included in the Regions described for this Program. Before applying for this grant, I wanted to confirm we are eligible for funding.
Your project is eligible for this program if your organization is an Eligible Applicant type and your project meets the Project Requirements. See the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information. Please note, CalRecycle will award one application per Region to implement a grant project that supports community composting sites throughout their Region. Entities interested in only developing sites in one town may find it more desirable to wait until the grantees are selected and work with a grantee to become a grant Project Site.
- Is the purchase of bicycles or bike trailers for collecting or moving organic material for the compost pile eligible for grant funding?
Yes, as long as the costs meet all other eligible cost requirements.
- For this grant, what is the ask limit or budget limit for one individual project?
Please see the answer to Question 3 in the “General” category.
- Is mileage for transportation an eligible cost for this program?
Yes, mileage costs (at State rate following related limits for travel reimbursements) for personal vehicles, reasonable public transportation, or third-party transportation services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) for compost system material transport or site visits are eligible for grant funding, as long as those costs meet all other eligible cost requirements. For example, the costs must be:
• Aligned with a numbered grant Task in the approved Work Plan.
• Specified in a current, approved Budget.
• Verified by proper cost and payment documentation.
• Not for regular commutes.
For more complete information about eligible costs, please refer to the “Eligible Costs” section in the Procedures and Requirements.
- Is there greater detail for the entire grant? What is the indirect cost rate?
For greater detail on the grant please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions, and the Procedures and Requirements. Details on the indirect cost rate can be found under “Indirect Costs” within the “Eligible Costs” section of the Procedures and Requirements. The total indirect costs shall not exceed ten percent of the total Grant award.
- Are the resources spent preparing progress reports direct costs?
Yes, progress report preparation expenses such as personnel hours are a direct cost for this program. For more information about eligible costs, please refer to the “Eligible Costs” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Will state and local permit and inspection fees (which may be required to operate a community composting site) qualify as eligible expenses?
Yes, permit and inspection fees are eligible expenses for project sites in this program. For more information about eligible costs, please refer to the “Eligible costs” section in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Does this allow purchase of land?
No, “Purchase, rent, or lease of land or buildings” is listed as an ineligible expense in the Procedures and Requirements available on the Notice of Funds Available page.
- If we are a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) City and the JPA gets the grant, how is it determined what share of the monies would go to our city vs the partner cities, is it equally split?
The JPA would determine how and where the grant funds would be spent. There is no requirement that the grant funds be equally distributed throughout all member jurisdictions.
- If we are a JPA City and the JPA gets the grant, would the JPA administrator be the person in charge of managing the grant (i.e.: reporting, etc.)?
The Joint Powers Authority will be responsible for the management of the grant. The JPA may work with others, including member city staff, who contribute to reporting and other duties related to the grant tasks. The JPA must select the grant Primary Contact.
- I noticed that this grant program is using a regional approach which has a designated regionwide grant amount for the Region covering multiple counties. Can you please let me know what is the min and/or max individual grant award?
The full regional grant award amount will be awarded to the highest scoring, passing application in each of the Regions. There will be a maximum of one application awarded per Region. Grant Award amounts are determined by Region. Award amounts by Region are listed in the answer to Question 3 under the General Category in the Questions and Answers, on the Notice of Funds Available: Community Composting for Green Spaces (FY 2021-22), and in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- Where can I obtain a copy of the application?
The application is available in CalRecycle’s web-based Grants Management System (GMS). Access to GMS is secure; therefore, you must have a CalRecycle WebPass in order to log into the system. Applicants who have not previously obtained a CalRecycle WebPass can create an account at the CalRecycle WebPass site. For log-in and instructions on completing your application please refer to the “Application Access” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
- The Application Certification section states to have the Signature Authority sign and upload the document and retain the original. There does not seem to be a signature block section on the form. Where does the Signature Authority sign?
The signature block can be found on the last page of the Application Certification document under the “Conditions and Certification” section.
- Can there be multiple Primary and Secondary Contacts for the application and reporting processes?
There can only be one Primary Contact and there can be multiple Secondary Contacts for the application and reporting process. For more information on contacts, please refer to the “Contacts Tab” section of the Application Guidelines and Instruction.
- Is it required or highly encouraged for it to be a Cooperative Application?
No, both Individual and Cooperative Applications are allowed. There are no additional score points added for being a Cooperative Application. Both Individual and Cooperative Applications must include “regional plans for outreach for the grant project and collaboration with community groups on the creation, improvement, or expansion of community composting sites throughout the Region”, as stated in the “Eligible Projects” section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. Please see the Public Notice: Eligibility, Scoring Criteria, and Evaluation Process for the Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program (General Fund, Fiscal Year 2021-22) for more information on scoring.
- How do you start more than one application in the Grant Management System (GMS) if the Lead Participant Applicant plans to submit a proposal for multiple regions? Does CalRecycle prefer an applicant open only one application, and upload all components for each region into that one application, or begin separate applications for each new region?
You must create a new application for each Region in which you intend to apply. In the Narrative Proposal document, you will select the Region associated with that Application. The application documents uploaded to that application should represent information for that region only. You will want to make note of the GrantID created for each Region in order to know which one to select when you log back in.