The winners of this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities Awards have been named.
Hosted by the 2017 Sustainable Cities (formerly Blue Star) Award winner, Blacktown City Council at Featherdale Wildlife Park, the Awards recognised, celebrated and rewarded the sustainability initiatives of NSW metropolitan councils, businesses and community groups.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) acting chair and CEO Anissa Levy congratulated the award winners, which included the NSW container deposit scheme, a hospital recycling program and high school waste warriors.
“All of the winners demonstrate extraordinary leadership in waste and litter reduction initiatives in our communities, and I commend them all on their efforts,” Levy said.
Auburn Hospital’s Think before you bin it project, designed to increase recycling and reduce hospital waste, won the NSW EPA sponsored award for waste minimisation, while the City of Canterbury Bankstown’s We Like Greenacre Litter Free, which has resulted in a 58 per cent reduction in litter in Greenacre over three years, won the NSW EPA sponsored award for litter reduction.
The Vinnies Container Deposit Scheme took out the inaugural Return and Earn Litter Prevention Award, having collected millions of containers at its automated depot and over the counter return points in NSW.
The Return and Earn school’s category went to Glenmore Park High School, which mobilised its school community to collect litter to fundraise for a minibus for the Special Needs Unit.
“These projects, along with the winners in other categories, demonstrate the power of acting locally to reduce waste and litter in our communities and I hope that they inspire others to do the same,” Levy said.
Levy said the NSW Government is also committed to reducing waste and litter in the environment.
“We have dedicated $802 million over nine years to 2021 as part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative – the largest waste and recycling funding program in Australia.
“We have also introduced the state’s largest litter reduction initiative, the Return and Earn container deposit scheme, to help achieve the Premier’s target of a 40 per cent reduction in litter volume by 2020.
More than 814 million containers have been returned to return points across NSW in just over ten months, and eligible drink container litter volume has already dropped by a third since November last year.
“This demonstrates the positive and immediate impact that waste and litter reduction initiatives can have in our communities,” said Levy.