MidCoast Council wins award for commitment to sustainability

MidCoast Council recently oversaw the installation of a 160kW solar panel system at Yalawanyi Ganya.

 

MIDCOAST Council has been recognised as a Bronze Partner of Sustainability Advantage in acknowledgement of its significant environmental achievements.

Sustainability Advantage is a program of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment that supports organisations who commit to sustainable practices and achieve improved outcomes in sustainability across their business.

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“Council’s organisational vision and roadmap includes a transformational project to develop a sustainability action plan that embeds sustainability in everything we do,” said MidCoast Council’s Manager of Natural Systems, Gerard Tuckerman.

“There are many actions we’re undertaking across our operations to make sure we do that, and we know MidCoast residents are extremely interested in what we’re doing to commit to sustainability.”

Council recently adopted a Climate Change Strategy which commits it to achieve 100% renewable energy and net zero emissions by 2040, along with net zero emissions from landfill by 2050.

In addition, Council has a target to achieve a 75% diversion rate of waste from landfill to recycling.

The progress towards these goals will be reported annually, and there is a way to go after several factors impacted the results for 2019-20.

The devastating bushfires across the MidCoast in that year meant that there was an increase in waste going to landfill, and it’s likely that when figures are available for 2020-21, we’ll see a corresponding result due to the clean-up after the flood event of March 2021.

While Council’s electricity consumption has held steady, water usage across the region has reduced as a result of the drought and the excellent uptake of water restrictions by residents across the MidCoast region.

Council’s fuel consumption, particularly diesel, was reduced by 233 kilolitres compared to 2018-19.

“We’re really looking forward to making some significant sustainability gains in the coming years, and the retrofitting of over 5,000 streetlights to LEDs and the recent installation of a 160kW solar panel system at Yalawanyi Ganya, along with consolidating our office administration, should begin to make a real difference in our electricity consumption,” added Mr Tuckerman.

“It’s important to note that Council’s wastewater treatment and water supply facilities such as Bootawa Dam account for 65% of Council’s total electricity consumption, and so Council will be investing heavily in making these sites more energy efficient including the installation of five new solar panel systems this year.”

Council’s procurement and motor vehicle policies include criteria to ensure sustainability factors are considered in the purchase of new stock.

“Four hybrid passenger vehicles have been added to Council’s vehicle fleet and two electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in the car park of Council’s new administration centre at Yalawanyi Ganya.

“Achieving our waste reduction targets requires a whole-of-community approach, and so we’re partnering with the community through the Re-Imagine Waste initiative, which provides information via social media platforms and Council’s website, and promotes various activities and events to help everyone in the MidCoast recycle, reduce and reuse waste.”

You can find out more about Re-Imagine Waste at midcoast.nsw.gov.au/reimaginewaste.

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