City of Newcastle wins top environment award

Environmental initiatives of a 5MW solar farm and 5000 new LED street lights and electric vehicle charging stations have earned the City of Newcastle a top environment award.

At the Local Government NSW’s Excellence in the Environment Awards on Tuesday night, the City took out the Local Sustainability category, which is awarded to the overall winner on the night.

Linda Scott

The council has delivered more than $10 million in projects to improve sustainability, including a network of sky cameras predicting cloud impact on solar power, and reduced air conditioning loads on buildings through the use of CSIRO predictive modelling.

More trees and plants have also been planted around the city, with the addition of 1,000 street trees and 100,000 native plants.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said the awards are a recognition and celebration of the investment of NSW councils into environmental management.

“The City of Newcastle is an outstanding example of the environmental leadership councils provide, implementing a whole-of-council sustainability framework based on leading-edge United Nations’ sustainable development goals,” she said in a statement.

The council also won the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability, which was awarded to the City’s Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator Adam Clarke.

“Adam showed great leadership in driving many of these initiatives through a combination of inspiration, education and enthusiasm, and is a deserving winner of this year’s individual award,” Cr Scott said.

On Wednesday, the City opened a new $6 million resource recovery facility at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

The Resource Recovery Centre has a 5,000 square metre undercover sorting area, and will allow residents to drop off pre-sorted recyclable materials at no cost.

Each year, the RRC will increase waste diverted from landfill by around 5,700 tonnes, which is made possible through the its 30,000-tonne processing capacity, Council says.

A newly completed $8 million five-megawatt solar farm was also unveiled by the council.

At the LGNSW awards, Waverley Council was also a big winner, receiving awards in the categories of Towards Net Zero Emissions, Behaviour Change in Waste and Sustainable Infrastructure and Water Management.

“NSW councils have a strong environmental record and LGNSW supports their efforts through these awards as well as a range of initiatives,” Cr Scott said.

LGNSW Excellence in the Environment 2019 Winners by Category:

  • Asbestos Management
    • Division C and overall category winner: Penrith City Council
    • Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council
  • Behaviour Change in Waste
    • Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council
    • Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council
  • Climate Change Adaption
    • Division C and overall category winner: Dubbo Regional Council
  • Communication, Education and Empowerment
    • Division C and overall category winner: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
    • Division A winner: Parkes Shire Council
  • Community Waste Services
    • Division C and overall category winner: Bayside Council
    • Division A winner: Parkes Shire Council
    • Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council
  • Environmental Health Management
    • Division C and overall category winner: Tweed Shire Council
  • Innovation in Planning, Policies and Decision Making
    • Division C and overall category winner: Tweed Shire Council
  • Invasive Species Management
    • Division B and overall category winner: Port Stephens Council
    • Division C winner: Georges River Council
  • Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement: On-Ground Works
    • Division C and overall category winner: Blue Mountains City Council
  • Resource Recovery
    • Division A and overall category winner: Lockhart Shire Council
    • Division B winner: AlburyCity Council
  • Roadside Environmental Management
    • Division A and overall category winner: Griffith City Council
    • Division B winner: Wingecarribee Shire Council
    • Division C winner: Coffs Harbour City Council
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
    • Division A and overall category winner: Parkes Shire Council
    • Division C winner: Waverley, Woollhara and Randwick councils
  • Towards Net Zero Emissions
    • Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council
  • Water Management
    • Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council
  • Local Sustainability
    • Division C and overall category winner: City of Newcastle
  • Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability
    • City of Newcastle Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator Adam Clarke

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