1) How do I write the strongest application possible?adminEnsure you are applying under the correct CIF Project Priority. There are two categories of projects in 2019:
- Centralized Cost Savings Initiatives
- Collective Action Projects
2) Do I have to include detailed timelines for the project?adminYes, even if those timelines are best estimates. Preference is given to projects that are the most ready to proceed, (i.e. have council and budget approval, but have not yet started). Include dates of approvals and amounts if available. Refer to section 6 of the sample application in the main REOI document for an example of a very simple timeline. CIF has provided a template spreadsheet, adaptable for your own project timeline planning purposes which can be submitted as part of your application.
3) My project has already started; can I submit an application for it?adminCIF does not fund projects that were underway prior to the REOI submission deadline. Preference is given to projects that allow for CIF input. CIF seeks the opportunity to be involved in the refinement of project plans so that proponents and other municipalities have the opportunity to benefit from the collective experience of the CIF organization.
4) Do I have to have council approval for my project prior to submitting an application?adminNo, council approval is not required at the time of submission. However, council and budget approval does indicate a higher level of project readiness and will earn a higher evaluation score for your application. This is especially true for capital intensive projects. It is a requirement of the funding that should council approval be required, it be provided before year end 2019.
5) How do I demonstrate cost savings and payback estimates?adminCIF must evaluate each and every application so we need your best estimate of what the project will cost to compare it against all the other requests for funding. A sample of a project budget is on the CIF web site here: Sample Final Report Project Budget (see page 9). A sample Payback Calculation Spreadsheet is available here: Sample Payback Calculation Spreadsheet. Some sample items to include on your application: Budget & Cost Savings
- Consider the change you are proposing; is it a new procedure or a new piece of equipment? Will it reduce labour costs, energy requirements, maintenance expenses, or downtime?
- Outline your current practice and the cost to carry out that practice.
- Detail all of the estimated costs associated with improving upon the current practice. Ensure your cost estimates reflect current pricing, are accurate, and have fully anticipated all related expenses required to implement your idea. Try to get real price estimates for equipment, goods and services you include in your budget (you can even include the supplier name and estimate on the spreadsheet). Don’t forget to include items like engineering, consulting, P&E, monitoring, measurement and reporting. Show us your calculations for the cost of each task your project requires to reach a successful conclusion. (A Guidance Document for Monitoring & Reporting of CIF Funded Projects is available here: Project Monitoring/Reporting Guidebook.)
- Detail the costs savings that will be realized as a result of implementing your idea. Note: only costs savings achieved for operation of the Blue Box program are eligible. Avoided landfill costs, for example, are not included.
- Based on the estimated annual savings, calculate the number of years to achieve a payback on the investment.
6) Should I use spreadsheets to prepare my project budget, cost savings and payback?adminIt is our preference to have all budget, costs savings and payback analysis submitted in spreadsheet format, but the most important thing is to demonstrate that you’ve thought through the capital and operating implications of your project and have a supportable business case. A sample Payback Calculation Spreadsheet is available here: Sample Payback Calculation Spreadsheet. Contact CIF staff for tips, guidance or assistance with budget/payback preparation.
7) Do I have to include all expected results?adminYou should, since it supports your proposal, but it is not mandatory. CIF must evaluate each and every application so we need your best estimate of what the project will achieve to compare it against all the other requests for funding. In addition to the cost savings, results may include: improved access to service, or ease of participation, less residue collected, processing improvements, more sales revenue, reduced carbon emissions, labour savings, etc.
8) What do you mean by “monitoring, measurement and final reporting”?adminA Guidance Document for Monitoring & Reporting of CIF Funded Projects is available here: Project Monitoring/Reporting Guidebook. A sample of a final report is available here: Sample - Final Project Report. A final report template is available here: Final Report Template. In your project application, you will have outlined the current baseline position and the tasks that will be done to achieve the stated goal. Stated goals may include, for example, reducing labour costs by a specified amount by installing a new machine, or reducing hauling costs by increasing the payload of each haul and reducing the number of hauls per year by a specified amount. Your monitoring and measuring strategy will detail how you will track your results throughout the project. It will specify what details you will track (e.g. number of labour hours or number of hauls). It will also indicate where the data will be obtained from, how often it will be monitored and how it will be recorded. Ultimately, your monitoring and measuring plan will substantiate whether or not your project has been successful in achieving its goals. The monitoring and measuring plan must be submitted and approved by CIF before the launch of your project. CIF holds back 25% of total funding until the final project report has been filed. The final report will detail the extent to which the project achieved its goal (i.e. exact cost savings, exact number of labour hours reduced, exact number of hauls reduced). The report will also include:
- a detailed summary of the process undertaken to achieve the goal,
- a commentary on the effectiveness of the process,
- a listing of obstacles encountered, their solution and the cost to implement the solution.
9) How do I submit my “study” application?adminAny projects requiring a study must fit the criteria described in the Collective Action section of the REOI.
10) How do I quantify results of a study, audit, P&E or similar project?adminComposition studies, performance audits and/or P&E costs may be part of an overall project budget for a Centralized Cost Savings or Collective Action project. Let us know what is happening before and after. Tell us how much your current P&E is costing and how many residents it reaches. Explain how you will pay for and perform monitoring and measurement (e.g. surveys to check and record if residents received and understood the P&E or changes to curbside composition or program contamination rates) and how you will report the before and after effects on your program. Describe if/how the costs, tonnage or residue levels changed.
11) How do I apply for Blue Box, reusable bag, or recycling cart funding?adminCIF does not directly subsidize routine Blue Box, reusable bag or recycling cart purchases, however, costs for Blue Box, recycling carts and/or reusable bags may be submitted as part of an overall budget for a centralized cost savings or collective action project. CIF has negotiated the Cooperative Container Procurement Program (CCPP) to establish economies of scale prices for the purchase of Blue Boxes, recycling carts and reusable bags. Bulk pricing will be available until year end 2019. To participate, click here: Ordering Containers.
12) What will happen after I have submitted my application?adminRefer to the CIF web page “Funding Process: Application Through to Approval” at CIF Funding Process. Your application submission will be acknowledged by CIF and a reference number will be provided. Please make sure all communications with CIF include the reference number in the subject line. Next, the application will be assigned to a specific project manager for review. Your CIF Project Manager will check to ensure your application is complete and that all the expenses you have identified are eligible for funding. They will also look for opportunities for you to strengthen your submission and may follow up with you via email or telephone. Your application will then be evaluated using the pre-established CIF application evaluation criteria. The updated evaluation criteria worksheets are downloadable here: CIF Project Evaluation Criteria.
13) When can I start spending my grant money?adminExpenditures made prior to the closing date of the REOI are not eligible for funding. If any project spending occurred before the application was submitted, CIF will not consider the application. If any proven project related spending occurs after an application has been submitted but before approval, CIF will consider the application but will not guarantee the application or any related expenditures will be approved.
14) What applications will be rejected?adminCIF gets many applications for the types of ineligible projects listed below. Please do not submit applications for funding that pertain to:
- Routine program growth (A new street is added to existing collection)
- Routine maintenance items (Our collection trucks need painting etc.)
- Routine staffing requirements (We need a summer student)
- Routine box/bag or cart replacement (Use the CIF joint purchase program: Ordering Containers)
- Non Blue Box related projects (Help us to draft our organics collection RFP)
- Cost Savings and Diversion Projects with a payback period exceeding 5 years. (New - 2017)
15) Do I have to duplicate the same application under different funding categories?adminNo. There are two priorities for projects eligible for funding in 2019:
- Centralized Cost Savings Initiatives
- Collective Action Projects
16) What resources/templates/samples/guidance is available for applicants?admin
- CIF Funding Process web page
- Fillable Forms
- Sample Payback Calculation Spreadsheet
- Sample Project Timeline Spreadsheet
- Project Monitoring/Reporting Guidebook
- Appendix 1: Frequently Asked Questions
- Curbside Waste Composition Study Documents
- Sample - Final Project Report
- Final Report Template
- CIF staff
17) Can a non-municipality apply for funding?adminYes. Other applicants are welcome to apply for funding. Applications received will be evaluated using the same criteria as municipal proposals with particular consideration given to whether there is municipal or other stakeholder support for the proposal where appropriate. This latter consideration is particularly important where the success of the project is contingent upon the involvement of municipalities. Note: It is not the role of the CIF to ‘sell’ an applicant’s idea, services or equipment to program operators. Contact CIF staff early for help to develop, draft and submit applications.
18) When must my project be completed?adminThe CIF’s is in the process of completing the Strategic Plan with a mandate ending in 2021 subject to any relevant change to the Blue Box Program Plan. Therefore, priority will be given to projects with shorter timelines and those that can be completed by December 31, 2021. Final analysis and reporting of the project must be complete in accordance with the approved milestones established for the project. Where this timeline cannot be met, proponents are encouraged to contact CIF staff to discuss the project’s anticipated timeline and its funding implications.
19) Is waste composition study data confidential – who can see my study data?adminInformation, data and results of any waste composition studies (i.e. raw data) will be provided by the contractor(s) to the municipality, CIF and SO. An aggregated version of the waste composition study results (by RPRA Datacall grouping) will be posted to the CIF web site for public use. Individual municipal data will be confidential unless the municipality provides authorization to release it.
20) Who is responsible for coordinating my waste composition study?adminWaste composition studies are to be co-ordinated between the CIF and SO. CIF and SO will share responsibility for organization and administration of the studies. Participating municipalities will be responsible for local co-ordination requirements (e.g. scheduling with local haulers) at their cost.
21) How is waste composition study data used by RPRA/CIF/SO?adminCIF uses the combined data to track trends in Ontario Blue Box material composition, weight, type, contamination, quality, etc. and to monitor and measure the effect of local changes made to individual municipal programs. Information, data and results of any studies are to be shared between the RPRA, CIF and SO, provided that the information and data are used for the sole purpose of operating the Blue Box Program Plan and are not shared beyond these parties unless authorized in writing.
22) Are there other CIF policies that may affect how much funding I receive?adminIn some cases policies have been established to limit the scope or funding amount available for projects that fit within the priority areas of the REOI. If you require clarification as to whether policies may be relevant to your project, please contact CIF staff before preparing your application.