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Environmental Gains from EPA Grant Projects

05 May 2009
The EPA Board has welcomed the outcomes of a suite of environmental projects designed to protect, restore and enhance the Tasmanian environment and promote sustainable resource use. EPA Chair John Ramsay said the grants were offered from the Environment Protection Fund and ran through 2007 and 2008. "The Environment Protection Fund consists of monies collected from fines and penalties from legal action under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act, which is managed by the EPA Board," Mr Ramsay said. "Successful funding recipients included the Central Highlands Council, the George Town Council, the Glenorchy City Council, the Mt Roland Rivercare Catchment Inc and Sustainable Living Tasmania." "A wide range of benefits have been achieved through the fund, including increased community awareness, increased ability to manage local environments and more information on waste going to landfill," Mr Ramsay said. The outcomes include: • The Central Highlands Council used the funding to provide public place recycling bins outside a number of retail outlets. They also increased the level of community education about reducing waste. As a result, recycling rates increased from 104 tonnes p.a. to 284 tonnes p.a. • The George Town Council was able to survey local businesses and industries on waste and recycling and found only 6.5% of overall waste was currently being recycled, largely due to limited access to recycling services. This information has helped inform development of a new waste management centre for the area. • Audits by the Glenorchy City Council found a large proportion of ewaste and metals are still being taken to the tip, despite available dropoff facilities for re-use and recycling. This information will help shape future programs to stop valuable e-waste resources ending up in landfill (such as electronic and electrical equipment). • The Mt Roland Rivercare Catchment Inc was able to undertake landowner education, which will help them better manage their land to reduce impacts on local waterways. The funds also enabled them to undertake weed control, map future rehabilitation work and assess water quality. • Sustainable Living Tasmania re-catalogued their entire library and placed it on their website, along with sustainable living flyers. This has allowed them to provide up-to-date information on sustainability for all Tasmanians. "The EPA Board recognises the importance of providing information and skills to the community to enable them to reduce environmental impacts and support sustainable behaviours and outcomes," Mr Ramsay said. "The grants have assisted that capacity building process and we congratulate all recipients for their work in this area." Mr Ramsay said the EPA Board will review its priorities in the light of its strategic plan before advertising a new round of grants.