Hawkesbury Council is committed to a greener future

Council is keen to see how local families are decreasing their environmental footprint. Picture: Supplied
Council is keen to see how local families are decreasing their environmental footprint. Picture: Supplied

Hawkesbury Council is looking for new ways for itself and the community to go green.

It is calling for residents to share ideas and tips from their own experiences on reducing green house gas emissions and saving water.

The feedback will go towards the creation of a Net Zero Emissions and Water Efficiency Strategy.

To make it easier for residents to have their say, Council's Emission reduction Survey is now live at yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au.

Hawkesbyr Mayor, Councillor Barry Calvert said the aim was for the council and the region to become more environmentally sustainable.

"The Hawkesbury is part of a rapidly changing world, which brings new challenges but also new opportunities, including how to increase resilience in our homes, our businesses and our community," he said.

"It can be simple individual changes like changing incandescent light globes to LED bulbs which offer up to an 86 per cent energy saving, or planting a native tree.

"These simple individual changes, when made across our whole community, can lead to big results.

"Hawkesbury City Council is with the community 100 per cent on this journey towards achieving net zero emissions. It will take a commitment from everyone - government, businesses, residents and visitors, but together we can achieve great things with a combination of big moves and small steps."

Council's Environmental Sustainability and Waste Management Advisory committees are both involved in the preparation the strategy and have already advised council in terms of numerous initiatives that have enabled it reduce emissions.

These changes include:

  • 90 per cent of Council's electricity is now powered by renewable energy.
  • Under the Hawkesbury City Solar program, council has installed 2,776 solar panels producing 764kW across 12 council facilities and saving 800 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year.
  • Council has changed street lighting to LED street lights, saving more than 3,260 tonnes CO2e emissions over the next 20 years.
  • LED lighting has been installed in council facilities.

Council has also been working on its recycled water management which during the recent drought allowed council to offer the 'Baling for our Backyard' initiative.

Bales of lucerne were offered to farmers at a discounted rate. The bales were grown using recycled water from council's McGraths Hill Waste Water Treatment Facility.

Electricity usage is the community's highest emissions source.

Currently 18 per cent of households within the Hawkesbury have installed solar panels and are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Hawkesbury residents have the fourth lowest water usage in Greater Sydney, consuming on average 166kL per dwelling per year. The average usage in Greater Sydney was 210kL per dwelling per year.

"As we continue to work towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions and saving water, we will make our community more resilient and more liveable for everyone," Cr Calvert said.

"During the development of the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036, the community told us that they want to live sustainably and reduce their ecological footprint.

"We're here to help you make all-important changes and sustainable choices about transport, waste, energy, water and green spaces.

"I encourage you to take the first step and complete the short survey to inform the strategy and further action by council, and also view council's list of individual actions that you can take to lower your greenhouse gas emissions."