Low Emission Vehicles
Butt Free City Week
Council’s commitment to environmental protection and responsibility was demonstrated by the selection and purchase of its first ‘Euro 4’ emission level trucks by Council’s fleet team. These trucks feature new technologies including a diesel particulate diffuser (DPD) and exhaust gas reticulation (EGR) which help to reduce harmful emissions. This is the first step in working toward meeting the future emission standards of Euro 5/ADR80/03.
Council participated in the National Butt Free City Week, funded by the Butt Littering Trust. Butt Free City Week was held in the Gosford CBD from 23-26 March 2009. During the program 908 smokers committed to helping make Gosford a Butt Free City by correctly disposing of their cigarette butts. Monitoring of cigarette disposal behaviour before and after the program showed a twenty-two per cent improvement in correct butt disposal, the highest of the participating cities, indicating the program was a great success. Through promotion, advertising and the resulting media coverage, Council’s campaign reached a potential audience of over 835,000 people.
Household Chemical & Hazardous Waste Collection Council’s household hazardous waste collection was held at the Erina Council depot on 31 August 2008. The collection received over twentyeight tonnes of material from over 700 vehicles. The main items collected were paint (14t), batteries (3t), motor oil (3t) and gas cylinders (1.5t). Council held its household chemical collection program on 28 February 2009 in which approximately twenty-five tonnes of material was collected.
Flooding and Drainage Council continued its long-term commitment to overcoming flooding and drainage problems throughout the Gosford LGA. Flood studies were completed in draft form for the Davistown and Empire Bay catchments and also for the Woy Woy Peninsula. The completion of these studies, which identify the nature and extent of the flooding problems, are a prerequisite to the commencement of Floodplain Risk Management Studies. These later studies evaluate options to alleviate flooding problems and set development controls prior to the preparation and adoption of a management plan. Once completed, the studies enable Council to request government assistance in the form of grants to address the flooding problems. Floodplain risk management studies were also completed for Middle Creek at Pearl Beach. Council has been selected to host the fiftieth Annual Floodplain Management Authority conference to be held in February 2010. The conference is a major focal point for delegates to meet to discuss the latest technology and exchange ideas in addressing floodplain management across Australia.
Green Living Council’s environmental education program Green Living continued throughout the year with initiatives including: distribution of a quarterly newsletter, a monthly newspaper page, an environmental tour during Seniors’ Week, and displays at community events including the Flora Festival. A Green Living Fair held at Erina Fair in November 2008 provided the community with a range of eco-activities and encouraged residents to save energy and water, as well as reducing waste and chemical usage. Green giveaways were given to the 372 residents who calculated their ecological footprint; 200 children took part in the wiggly worm workshops; 150 native plants were given away; and approximately ninety people participated in workshops on green gardening, natural cleaning, chemical free pesticides and green smart homes. Thousands of residents attended the four eco-fashion parades that were held to heighten awareness of the benefits of recycled fashion and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and hemp.
NSW Climate Summit During November 2008, as part of Council’s ongoing commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change, local residents were given the opportunity to explore the key question How can we work together to respond to climate change? Residents from Gosford, Wyong and Lake Macquarie local government areas, in partnership with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, joined forces at two local forums held in Swansea and Erina. The groups were guided through expert presentations,
question and answer sessions and group discussions. A response was developed and all participants were involved in formulating a list of recommendations that were presented to Council. Participants earmarked priority areas for local, state and federal government bodies including: support for exploring green energy sources, educating the community on the impacts of climate change, and improved pedestrian and cycle networks and other forms of public transport.
Water One of Council’s major water saving initiatives, the Woy Woy Water Recycling Plant, opened in March 2009. The plant will save an average of forty-six megalitres of water per year, reducing demand on the town water supply. The plant is capable of delivering over 300 kilolitres per day of non drinking recycled water for use on-site and across the Woy Woy area for irrigation, dust suppression, landscaping and construction works.
Additionally, smart water meters and low flow urinal devices were installed at each site and dual flush toilets were installed at Ettalong. The Peninsula Leisure Centre Rainwater Harvesting System was commissioned in December 2008. The system includes 140 kilolitres of storage capacity and harvests rainwater from the centre’s large roof area. Harvested water is used in the pool backwashing system and for on-site irrigation, saving an average of two megalitres of town water per year. The project cost $75,000 and was funded through the Australian Government’s Community Water Grants and Council’s Water and Sewerage Directorate. Rainwater harvesting systems were commissioned at the Gosford and Ettalong Senior Citizens’ Centres in January 2009. The combined storage of the two systems is fifty kilolitres and the harvested water replaces town water in the centres’ toilets, urinals, and laundries. Additionally, smart water meters and low flow urinal devices were installed at each site and dual flush toilets were installed at Ettalong. The combined measures are saving