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Announcing the 2019 Winner of the EPA Sustainability Award

​The EPA congratulates Lion Dairy & Drinks of Lenah Valley on winning this year's EPA Sustainability Award for its commitment to cleaner production, waste minimisation and environmental sustainability.

Chair of the EPA Board, Mr Warren Jones who presented the Sustainability Award, acknowledged Lion Dairy's achievements in sustainable production at an industrial level. 

Mr Jones said that Lion Dairy & Drinks operates a Level 2 industrial milk processing facility in Lenah Valley, which is regulated by the EPA.

“Wastewater generated at the site is disposed of to sewer under a Trade Waste Water Agreement with TasWater but over the past five years, the company has reduced its milk waste by 50 percent, halving the biological oxygen demand of its sewerage waste," said Mr Jones.

“The company has increased its overall production while implementing a range of sustainability measures, focusing on technology and process efficiencies to achieve this significant waste reduction," he said.

“It has made multiple operational improvements based on clean production principles and technology, targeting waste capture and resource use," he said.

“Examples of the latter include providing local pig farmers with waste milk products and donating other viable milk products, with minor imperfections such as incorrect coding, to community groups.

“The company also runs community tours of the factory, spreading information about its environmentally sustainable practices," he said.

“On behalf of the EPA, I congratulate Lion Dairy & Drinks for its achievement, which has produced economic and industry benefits, as well as benefiting the sewer infrastructure, the environment and society," said Mr Jones.

The Award was presented at the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards Gala presentation dinner on Friday 22 November at the Hotel Grand Chancellor. One amongst nine other Award categories, the Sustainability Award is specifically aimed at businesses that have developed and implemented cleaner production initiatives, and can demonstrate measurable improvements in pollution prevention, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste minimisation and/or resource efficiency.

Mr Jones also acknowledged the other Sustainability Award category nominees this year, including the other three finalists, Southern Waste Solutions, Hobart Airport and Salamanca Market.

Southern Waste Solutions was recognised for having developed the Copping C Cell for the burial of hazardous waste. This has reduced the need for shipment of hazardous wastes from Tasmanian industries and Antarctica; thus reducing the risk of waste spill in transit, carbon footprint and cost of transport. It has also eliminated the need for long-term storage of hazardous material and is reducing environmental risks of contaminated waste stockpiled around the State. The company overcame intensive media scrutiny and community opposition during a drawn-out development process. Since November 2018, Southern Waste Solutions has accepted over 2,000 tonnes of contaminated material at the Copping site, which was purpose built with best practice environmental management, including specifications beyond current regulatory requirements.

Hobart Airport of Cambridge advocates for improved waste management practices. With an aim to increase the diversion of waste to landfill by more than 25 percent, Hobart Airport developed a waste management strategy in May 2018 with a goal of understanding waste streaming. In February 2019, a three-stream waste segregation initiative was introduced in the Departures area following months of research. The three streams were Landfill, Co-Mingled Recycling and Organics and required the installation of new bin systems, which provide clear directions on waste segregation for passengers and visitors. After extensive consultation, major food and beverage outlets have commenced segregation and transition to compostable packing.

Salamanca Market of Hobart was recognised for its innovative waste minimisation initiatives. Being Tasmania's most visited tourist attraction, with nearly a million visitors annually and with one tonne of waste produced weekly, the Market engaged consultants to perform three waste audits. Their report resulted in Market stallholders committing to several waste initiatives and recycling programs that have seen the elimination of single use plastic, replacement with biodegradable packaging, organic bins for composting and the direct recycling of plastic bags for the production of public benches. As a result of these efforts, there has been a significant and measureable reduction in waste going to landfill as well as broad scale community education and social flow-on benefits. In June this year, Salamanca Market reached a major milestone of being single-use plastic bag free.