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Hobart City Council's Waste Strategy wins this year's EPA Sustainability Award

07 December 2017

Hobart City Council has won the 2017 EPA Sustainability Award for its Waste Management Strategy 2015-30, a blueprint to deliver its commitment to achieve zero waste to landfill.

City of Hobart received the EPA Sustainability Award at a Gala Dinner on Friday 1 December at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, where the winners and finalists of nine separate categories in the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards were acknowledged. Around 400 guests gathered from across the State, including the Patron of the Awards, The Hon Will Hodgman MP Premier to celebrate Tasmania’s community achievers, contributors and sponsors.

Chair of the EPA Board, Mr Warren Jones presented the Sustainability Award to City of Hobart’s Lord Mayor, Sue Hickey. He said that the Council had made a clear commitment to achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030, coinciding with the closure of the City’s landfill.

“Hobart City is preparing for life without a landfill, and the Strategy sets the blueprint for the City to realise a range of environmental, social and economic benefits by 2030 and beyond,” said Mr Jones.

“The Strategy is a committed, planned, and funded approach that is already reaping rewards in reducing impacts of waste on the City of Hobart and its community,” he said.

“Council has developed and implemented over 90 actions within its Waste Management Strategy to reduce waste.

“The Strategy has led to ewaste being re-purposed, dismantled and recycled, providing social benefits through local employment and significantly reducing emissions, and it includes a garden waste collection service which has already diverted 3,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill,” Mr Jones said.

Hobart City Council won the EPA Sustainability Award from a strong field of nominees this year and were amongst four finalists showcased at the presentation evening, including Burnie City Council, MMG Rosebery and University of Tasmania.

In presenting the Sustainability Award, Mr Jones acknowledged all the entrants for the Award, saying that although it had been a difficult task for the judges, the EPA was pleased by the quality and quantity of entrants this year.

Burnie City Council was selected as a finalist because its Waste Management Centre Leachate Treatment project was judged as a successful solution to managing landfill leachate on-site, in a sustainable manner. The environmental flows have been reinstated to the Cooee Creek tributary, which contains nationally protected fauna, including the Burnie Burrowing Crayfish, and the wetland system is a community asset providing educational and research values.

MMG Rosebery was recognised for upgrading the mine’s existing tailings storage facilities and dams to reduce seepage, resulting in improved water quality and fish and macro-invertebrate abundance and diversity in the Stitt River. The mine has been in continuous operation since 1936 and it is one of the largest employers in Tasmania.

University of Tasmania was a finalist for the second year in a row for its Sustainable Transport Strategy, which summarises information on transport issues within the University community. The aim is to deliver more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable transport outcomes and travel behaviours. Students developed a mobile app to streamline data collection. Some of the outcomes include six new bike hubs, 600 parking rails, 24 bike lockers, nine bus stop shelters and solar powered voucher machines.