Shoalhaven City Council has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2020 Local Government NSW's Excellence in the Environment Awards in both the Towards Net Zero Emissions and Resource Recovery categories.
In the Towards Net Zero Emissions category, council is recognised for its actions and commitments in the past year to increase renewable energy generation on its assets, prepare its inaugural Sustainable Energy Strategy and begin an internal Revolving Energy Fund (REFund).
Over 400kw of new solar PV were installed in the past year on assets such as the Nowra Library, Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre and wastewater treatment plants.
Energy efficient LED lighting was also installed at the Nowra Library using seed funding to kick start the new REFund. The cost savings made from the project are reinvested back into the REFund to pay for new energy efficiency projects.
Across the Shoalhaven region, over 4,000 residential streetlights are also being replaced with energy efficient LED lights, a project co-funded between council and the NSW Government. These sustainable energy projects work towards achieving council's adopted target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Shoalhaven Council's waste recovery facility set up for the recent bushfire demolition was the other shortlisted project for these prestigious annual environmental awards.
Following the devastating destruction of the bushfires in the Shoalhaven region, council opted to set up a temporary bushfire demolition waste processing facility to preserve the capacity of its only perishable waste landfill.
Any demolition waste that was unaffected by asbestos contamination was able to be recycled. The State Government contractor, Laing O'Rourke, transported the material to the temporary processing facility in West Nowra.
In the three months of operation the facility processed almost 18,000 tonnes of demolition waste from 313 homes, recovering a staggering 96 per cent of the material for reuse.
Shoalhaven City Council mayor Amanda Findley, commended council staff for their commitment to achieving outstanding environmental and community outcomes.
"I would like to congratulate the dedicated staff for their significant work to improve the resilience and sustainability of the Shoalhaven community into the future," Cr Findley said.
"It's been a hugely challenging year for the Shoalhaven, so it makes me very proud that Council has been able to adapt and achieve excellence when it matters the most."
The Awards ceremony will be held via an online event on Tuesday, October 13.