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Salvage project shines in Environment Awards

07 June 2010

A Hobart demolition project that recovered nearly 100 percent of materials for reuse and recycling has won two major environment awards.

The “constructive deconstruction” of a warehouse and cottage by the Resource Work Cooperative won the Small Business Sustainability and the Minister’s Choice awards at the 2010 Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence presentation on Friday night.

The project demonstrated a high rate of resource recovery being accomplished in a sector where a large proportion of waste usually goes to landfill.

It reported recovery of 98 percent of materials for reuse and recycling, and was financially viable even with the additional labour and time.

The Resource Work Cooperative also arranged purchasers for much of the recovered material, reducing energy use and the carbon emissions from manufacturing new materials.

Presenting the Minister’s Choice Award at the awards ceremony, Environment Minister David O’Byrne said the deconstruction project not only demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability principles, but excellent engagement with partners and stakeholders.

He said all 26 entries in this year’s awards showed a great commitment towards a sustainable future.

”I commend the leadership shown by industry, local government and the community across the seven award categories,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“They show us how together we can all make a difference and encourage us to become better custodians of our environment.

“The Awards are not only about innovative technical solutions to environmental problems. They also highlight efforts by individuals and groups to engage business, governments and the community in cutting-edge programs to protect and manage Tasmania’s precious environment.”

The Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence 2010 were hosted by the Environment Protection Authority at Wrest Point. All category winners are automatically nominated for the Banksia Environmental Foundation national awards to be announced later this year.

Category winners of the 2010 Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence

LARGE BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Hydro Tasmania - Sustainability Program

By encouraging the development and implementation of sustainable practices across its organisation, Hydro Tasmania is addressing community and stakeholder expectations, whilst ensuring its long-term business success and sustainability.

Over the past two years the organisation has implemented a range of projects to embed sustainability into the business. Primary among these is the evolution of a balanced Sustainability Scorecard employing the six sustainability principles to guide the development and implementation of Hydro Tasmania’s business strategy.

Hydro Tasmania has also developed a sustainability self-assessment process. The results are reported annually and assessed externally against the AA1000 Assurance Standard for materiality, completeness and responsiveness.

SMALL BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD and MINISTER’S CHOICE AWARD

Resource Work Cooperative - Deconstruction Project

Materials from a warehouse and former whaler’s cottage will be reincarnated as a sustainability centre after a “hands-on” demolition project undertaken by the Resource Work Cooperative.

Ninety-eight percent of material from the demolition site was reused or recycled, with approximately half earmarked for a new Schools Together sustainability centre. While most demolition projects are completed quickly and invariably use heavy machinery, the salvage team dismantled the buildings by hand, considerably reducing the project’s environmental footprint. Resource Work Cooperative, which also operates the South Hobart Tipshop, worked in collaboration with Morrison & Breytenbach Architects, the Department of Education and the Department of Housing to achieve exemplary environmental outcomes.

COMMUNITY AWARD

Source Community Wholefoods Cooperative - Sustainability Demonstration Project

Source is Tasmania's first comprehensive urban sustainability demonstration project. It incorporates an organic wholefoods cooperative, a community garden and a green waste recycling station. A volunteer-led project, it increases the sense of community in Hobart by bringing students and the wider community together around issues of urban sustainability.

It is centred around an organic food cooperative on the University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus providing minimally packaged, organic and/or local foods at not-for-profit prices for students and the wider community.

The site uses sustainable building concepts and promotes water conservation. The project provides training and opportunities to share knowledge in a variety of skills.

EDUCATION AWARD

Bookend Trust - Bookend Schools Engagement Program

Bookend is a diverse initiative supporting teachers and engaging students on several fronts, inspiring them to solve rather than dwell on environmental challenges. Tasmania is an ideal location to develop a strong, solutions-based environmental economy and Bookend believes that careers and opportunities can be built if students are given the spark to find them. Bookend's work includes the interactive, online "Expedition Class" and production of scholarship-supported student documentary material for schools.

It was the only non-Government/non-business sponsor for last year's Tasmanian visit by international sustainability artist Chris Jordan. Bookend is backed by donations and commitments from private individuals interested in seeing what Tasmanian students can achieve.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARD

Dulverton Waste Management/Cradle Coast Councils – North-West Regional Recycling

The Cradle Coast Recycling Program involves seven northwest councils - Central Coast, Devonport City, Kentish, Burnie City, Waratah Wynyard, Circular Head and Latrobe - facilitated and managed by Dulverton Waste Management with Veolia Environmental Services. This innovative $15 million contract will see the rollout of a kerbside recycling service to 37,000 households and kerbside collection services until 2019.

Households previously recycled on average 95kg of waste each year. The recycling program is now achieving 216 kg per household a year – an astounding 230 per cent increase.

The contamination rate is four per cent, the lowest in Tasmania and one of the lowest rates in Australia.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD

Roaring 40s/Tasmanian Land Conservancy - Eagle Habitat Protection

A partnership between wind energy supplier Roaring 40s and the not-for-profit Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) is protecting threatened eagle nesting habitat across Tasmania.

In response to Australian Government approval conditions and in line with the objectives of the State Government’s Threatened Tasmanian Eagles Recovery Plan: 2006-2010, covenants now protect 428 hectares of eagle habitat including nine wedge-tailed eagle and seven white-bellied sea eagle nests. The protected nests are monitored for breeding success.

The program has also led to the discovery of new eagle nests, protection of habitat for the Tasmanian devil, swift parrot and forty spotted pardalote, and protection of 33 hectares of threatened native vegetation communities.

LEADERSHIP IN CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION AWARD
 
Department of Health and Human Services - Bruny Island Community Health Centre

The new Bruny Island Health Centre is designed to be the first zero energy building constructed in Tasmania by the Department of Health and Human Services. Passive solar design features, including building orientation and energy-efficient external fabric and glazing, ensure the building will be very energy efficient at the outset.

Coupled with a 10kW wind turbine, 1.5kW photovoltaic solar array, evacuated tube solar hot water and energy-efficient lighting, the new centre is set to be the most energy efficient building in the DHHS property portfolio.

There is no loss of service functionality and the building will be used as a learning tool across the broader range of DHHS properties.

Click here for photos of the Awards night.