Environment and sustainability action

Food Waste Solutions

Did you know since 2009 the residents of Penrith City Council have been putting food waste into their green bins? In fact across Victoria 28 local governments have implemented similar programs. This initiative allows food and green waste to be converted into products such as mulch. Food waste accounts for more than five per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment). The environmental benefits of this simple waste reform are immense.

More Green Spaces

The North Shore is a dense area. With an increasing population, now more than ever the Council should be looking to increase the amount of green space in our community. Be it reclaiming land, constructing urban green spaces or expanding our existing green areas.

There are many ways to ensure the people of North Sydney have plenty of space to meet, exercise, play sports or to simply get outside.

Pollution Reduction

In a submission to the Australian Government, the Cancer Council suggested outdoor air pollution is a proven cause of lung cancer and that engine emissions of all types contribute to such pollution. Not only is traffic frustrating for motorists and pedestrians, but its pollutants are detrimental to our health. Alongside increased green spaces, roads and traffic should be reviewed to ensure the minimisation of pollution. This includes addressing key traffic gridlock areas as well as increasing pedestrian and cyclists only areas. Willoughby Road in Crows Nest is an excellent example of how we can fuse green space with foot and motor traffic needs. We should look to replicate this is our busiest areas around North Sydney.

Clean and Well Maintained Waterways

From Berry Island to Balls Head, McMahons Point and Kurraba Point; the truly beautiful parts of our area are the water front. The Council needs to ensure that all water front areas on the North Shore are free from pollution and over crowding, while being kept environmentally healthy. Increasing the amount of bins around the water is a simple intuitive that would help to keep these areas clean.

Soft Plastic Recycling

Australia wide only 9% of soft plastics are recycled. So what happens to the rest? Up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will end up in our waterways. If not it usually ends up in land full where it will not decompose for years and even decades.

Coles, Woolworths, Australia Post and others now offer soft plastic recycling. North Sydney Council should look into introducing more solutions to recycle soft plastics. This could involve:

  1. An at home or business soft plastic bin.

  2. Increase the number of community recycling sites.

  3. Community drop off points, similar to Return and Earn bottle and can recycle initiative.

Expanded Recycling Centres

For people in the community who are trying to do what's right with recycling, it sure can be difficult to find anywhere to recycle. North Sydney does have a recycling centre based in Artarmon and although this is a good facility, we need to make recycling easier and more accessible.

The council must look to open new sites in which people can recycle almost any product. Especially, the harder to recycle goods such as electronics, fabrics, plastics and hardware goods (paints, woods, tiles etc.). This could take the form of smaller scale recycling centres. For instance, a retail size shopfront that accepts white goods only.

In bringing recycling centres into more convenient and visible places we can improve our rates of recycling. This is an area we need to improve on for our environment and the future.

Urban Greenery Projects

Unfortunately, since 2008 our tree canopy has declined by 7%.

In such a dense are, we will struggle to find large new green spaces. However, we can be more creative with our urban areas to incorporate more nature. For example, converting some parking to garden beds or incorporating greenery into buildings (I.E vertical gardens).