Resource efficiency finalists

By taking logical and progressive steps to close the loop on waste and use the resources at hand, the Resource Efficiency finalists demonstrate what’s possible when lateral thinking and creativity unite.

This award recognises excellence in integrated practical solutions for clean energy, water saving and conservation, waste avoidance, resource recovery and/or recycling practices.

Fairfield City Council: a bold endeavour in sustainable local government

The Sustainable Resource Centre was set up by Fairfield City Council to reduce its use of quarried virgin materials and its growing disposal fees.

Operating now for almost 25 years, the demolition and construction material recycling centre recycles concrete, bricks, roof tiles, pavers, asphalt and road-base material from over 250 clients including demolishers, builders, civil contractors, other local councils and private companies.

The centre is an environmentally sustainable local government business. It not only reduces the greenhouse emissions of council operations, it provides local employment and heavily invests in the local community.

It’s a unique and bold endeavour in local government and shows that saving money and protecting the environment can go hand in hand.

Mememe: create Connection, encourage Understanding and inspire Action

Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace of mememe Productions live in the bush in Northern NSW and are ‘big fans of fresh air, rainwater and high-speed internet’.

Their Get Grubby Project is an online sustainability resource for early learning – an integrated preschool program of ten downloadable units, 50 bespoke films starring live-action dirtgirl and scrapboy, music videos and clips, and even karaoke versions of the songs to sing along to.

From composting to worm farming to growing a veggie patch to being energy and water wise … there are lots of fun and practical activities that celebrate nature and empower young children to do little things that make a big difference and reinforce sustainable life practices.

As Cate says ‘We love the three-pillar approach – education at its simplest – create Connection, encourage Understanding and inspire Action’.

Sydney Water: from food waste to energy

Most food waste in Sydney ends up in landfill. Astutely, Sydney Water saw an opportunity to generate electricity to run the Cronulla waste water treatment plant from gases produced by fruit and vegetable waste from local businesses.

The Food Waste to Energy Project is the first such project of its scale in Australia. Once fully scaled up, renewable energy produced from food waste and sewage will generate almost two-thirds of the energy needed to run the plant. The savings in energy use, greenhouse emissions, and food waste and truck movements diverted from landfill will be significant.

It’s a great example of innovation in the cause of environmental sustainability.

GPT: recognising the real environmental impact of waste management

Property manager GPT wanted to identify how waste could be recovered with the highest-value retention and lowest pollution levels. The accuracy of traditional ‘waste diverted from landfill’ and ‘recycling’ data was low, and provided no information on the resulting pollution or value retention in the recovered materials.

The company’s new Waste and Resource Management System gives a more accurate and transparent picture of the environmental impacts of waste services, leading to better decisions and solutions.

Piloting the new system at three of GPT’s NSW properties proved so successful that it was rolled out nationally across all GPT’s managed properties and service providers. It’s a great practical example for broader adoption in the waste industry.

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An independent judging panel has decided the best nominees in NSW in the Built Environment category of the Green Globe Awards. A gala evening will be held in October to announce and celebrate the winners.

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