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July 3, 2013

In search of Zero Wasteland

Not so long ago, only the greenest of the greens were arguing that we should be recycling more of our waste. Waste was seen to hold no residual value and was best dealt with by sending to landfill or incineration.  Now Scotland recycles almost 50% of its waste and achieving zero waste is the Holy Grail. If your community has serious aspirations in that direction, a fantastic opportunity beckons.  Zero Waste Scotland is offering funding, technical assistance and support for two communities with the ambition to become Scotland’s first Zero Waste Community. 


In search of Zero Wasteland

Click here to access an Expression of Interest application form 

1. Introduction

Recycling rates in Scotland are approaching 50% and Zero Waste Scotland is keen to explore with communities how significantly higher recycling rates and greater local resource efficiency can be achieved. As part of Zero Waste Scotland’s agreed delivery plan funded by the Scottish Government it is proposed to develop a ‘Zero Waste Town’ project in Scotland. This project is not restricted to a traditional geographic ‘town’ but must be a geographic community of ‘place’ which has an established identity and a mixture of land-use types including residential, community, commercial and retail. Zero Waste Scotland is seeking expressions of interest from community groups/community anchor organisations/ /social enterprises to lead the delivery of a number of scoping/feasibility/business case projects during 2013/14 that will directly impact on higher recycling rates and greater local resource efficiency.


2. Project Development

Zero Waste Scotland is seeking organisations that can lead the development of evidence gathering through scoping and feasibility to demonstrate they have sufficient ambition and the vision to achieve them. The successful implementation of these plans, from 2014 onwards will demonstrate the most effective ways that communities in Scotland can achieve zero waste by delivering the highest recycling rates and reducing residual waste. Furthermore, that business in those communities can reduce significantly their consumption of materials, energy and water to achieve high levels of resource efficiency. Zero Waste Scotland is committed to mobilising its combined programme activities and to maximise the contribution of other stakeholders to help accelerate the efforts of communities to achieve the highest levels of resource efficiency.


3. Funding and support

It is proposed that up to £20,000 will be provided directly to each third sector/community anchor organisations in Scottish communities with populations of between 5,000-15,000 people populations to investigate the feasibility of achieving zero waste by 2020. Pilot areas will be selected on the basis that they are able to demonstrate an established track record in collaborative working through community planning, have a current organisational/business development plan and have the commitment of other local organisations in the area.  Zero Waste Scotland is aiming to award up to 5 individual grants in total (subject to the Panel’s assessment and decision to award).

Organisations are asked to complete an application form and submit accompanying information including constitution/Memorandum & Articles, last 3 years audited financial accounts, an organisation/business plan and copies of any letters of support by 12:00pm, Wednesday 7th August 2013.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of organisations representing the community, third sector, local government and business.  

All scoping/feasibility/business cases need to be completed by end December 2013. Zero Waste Scotland will provide additional guidance and support to organisations preparing these plans following their selection to go forward for funding support.

From the business cases selected at this initial stage, 1 to 2 communities/towns will be selected by the panel in January 2014 to become practical demonstration projects in 2014/15. These communities will receive targeted support and further funding to enable them to build comprehensive project delivery plans. Technical contractors may be provided to support this development phase.

Support will then be provided to:

Benchmark local levels of resource efficiency

Engage with local authorities and other public bodies, businesses local groups and individuals

Improve/support monitoring and evaluation activities 

Contract specialist support to undertake research or provide communications support

Support local people to undertake training

Assist with project management and delivery

Provide energy/waste/water audits for local business

Support implementation of recommendations of audits

Pilot infrastructure for collection

Support the development of new business models and service arrangements


The type of costs we will fund are those associated with preparing a business case/feasibility or scoping study, including salaries, contractors, survey costs, meeting/event costs and associated costs including travel, childcare and printed materials (posters, leaflets) 

Please note that capital costs are not applicable to this fund.

Funding will be paid in arrears and either monthly or quarterly in agreement with Zero Waste Scotland and you will need to ensure that you have sufficient cash flow to accommodate this.  You will need to complete a Request for Payment Proforma (to be supplied by Zero Waste Scotland) and demonstrate evidence of payment in the form of invoices, payslips, P11s etc. and copies of bank statements, BACs transfer documentation or credit card statements and any other contractual conditions such as reports as agreed with Zero Waste Scotland.

At the application stage you do not have to individually cost out your project, you will be paid retrospectively upon production of eligible, valid documentation.


3.1 De Minimis Support


This support is offered under an element of European State Aid rules known as de minimis (EC regulation 1998/2006 – ‘de minimis aid regulation). De minimis regulations allow provision of financial support of up €200,000 (currently equivalent to approx. £170,620) per organisation within a three year fiscal period which comprises the current fiscal year and the previous two.

Under this scheme, you can apply for up to the limit of de minimis funding that your organisation has available. 

Please ensure that you complete the de minimis declaration as part of your application form or your application will be rendered non-compliant.


4. Who can apply?

So long as your de minimis threshold will not be exceeded, funding is available to not-for-profit/community/charity/social enterprise or other third sector organisations. Consortia bids will be welcomed. Please note that in the case of a consortium we will only provide grant funding to the lead organisation.  Please note that Zero Waste Scotland cannot enter into a contract with an individual; applicants must be members of a registered organisation and hold a bank account in that organisation’s name.

Zero Waste Scotland is looking for organisations with a demonstrable track record in building partnerships and engaging with local government, business and the wider community. 

The successful applicant should have been established for 3 or more years and be able to supply financial accounts for this period and have an organisational/business development plan.

5. Evaluation Criteria

Each application will be evaluated against the following criteria and competitively against each other:

Organisation’s track record in leading effective behaviour change work

Strength of the applicant’s ability to deliver the project within the required delivery period and beyond

Potential demonstrated by the community in which the applicant is based to achieve the highest levels of recycling and resource efficiency

Ability to demonstrate working with local government, business and the community

Zero Waste Scotland aims to have 4 – 5 successful applicants however only those applications that strongly meet the above evaluation criteria will be put forward for competitive assessment against each other for the finite funding that is available.  Zero Waste Scotland reserves the right not to make any awards in the event of unsatisfactory or inappropriate applications being received.

6. Contact

If you have any questions about how to proceed please contact:

Frazer Scott, Head of Business Development and Planning at Zero Waste Scotland


T: 01786 433 930

Click here to access an Expression of Interest application form