COUNCIL believes the next 12 months will provide the platform for a significant reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions which peaked at 9861 tonnes in the year to June 30.
Findings contained in the One Planet Living report into the City of Greater Bendigo’s environmental activities show emissions were almost double the 2020 emissions target of just 4942 tonnes.
Emissions at the Eaglehawk landfill site have almost doubled since 2010/11, up from 16,754 tonnes to 31,780 tonnes, but Innovation and Transformation coordinator Glenn Pomeroy said this was due largely to waste previously sent to landfill at Patho near Echuca being handled locally since 2015/16.
Emissions from street lights has plummeted from 6283 tonnes in 2010/11 to 3962 tonnes last year, due largely to the installation of environmentally friendly lighting as part of the federally funded Lighting the Regions program.
Mr Pomeroy said the council was close to finalising a power purchase agreement for green energy that could result in a drop in emissions of potentially 30 to 50 per cent as part of ongoing actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the municipality.
“We want to play a leading role, right across the community,” he said.
Mr Pomeroy said he was hopeful of further funding opportunities to install additional energy saving environmentally friendly street lighting in the region, and said the council had already shaved more than $500,000 from its energy bill via the Lighting the Regions program.
“We have to be better, we have to do better,” he said.
Acting Resource Recovery and Education manager, Bridgette McDougall said it was pleasing to note the continuing decline in the amount of kerbside residual waste collected and sent to landfill had fallen being received at the Eaglehawk landfill.
In 2017/18 23,036 tonnes of waste collected from households went to landfill, down almost nine per cent on the previous year, and by almost 16 per cent from 2013/14.
She said the increase in self-haul recycling, whereby residents take their own recyclable materials to the collection site at Eaglehawk was up 12 per cent on the previous year, and by 25 per cent since 2013/14.
The amount of self-haul green organic material fell to just 1742 tonnes last year, but this has been more than offset by the 10,119 tonnes collected as part of the kerbside organics service introduced in 2016/17.
Ms McDougall said the education process would continue to encourage the ongoing lowering of consumption of plastics in the community, pointing out the simple process whereby residents could use a container to store food rather than plastic wrap as one easy example of householders doing more to produce less rubbish.
A small scale trial of commercial business operators within Greater Bendigo that offers a kerbside green organics collection is due to be expanded in coming months, thanks to state government funding.
“We’re soon to engage with more businesses, and hoping more will come on board,” Ms McDougall said.
Feedback from participants involved in the trial would be important to what any future collection could like.
“The trial will tell,” Ms McDougall said.