Two Kiama Council environmental projects were successful at the NSW Local Government Environment Awards earlier this month.
The two winning projects were the Seven Mile Beach Reserve Rehabilitation Project and the GO Organics program.
The Seven Mile Beach project is a collaboration between the Seven Mile Beach Landcare group, the local Aboriginal community, service clubs and the council.
It won the main Natural Environment Protection Award.
The project has improved the quality of 28.7 hectares of endangered ecological community in the reserve.
The local Landcare group has been weeding and replanting native flora in the reserve for several years which has led to the regeneration in the littoral rainforest and re-establishment of local flora and fauna.
Kiama Municipal Council was recognised for the GO Organics program, which was first implemented in the Kiama Downs area and will be expanded.
The program allows residents to put food waste into their existing green waste bin, which is turned into compost.
The project was delivered with close community consultation and engagement using video-conferencing and the National Broadband Network.
Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler said council staff delivering the GO Organics program had worked closely with the residents of the trial site in Kiama Downs to ensure its success.
Despite some teething problems, including odour and limited red bin capacity leading to residents placing some rubbish in recycling bins, the trial saved 1517 tonnes of waste from landfill and saved Kiama Council $465,179 in tipping fees.
‘‘Preliminary results indicate a higher rate of recycling and a significant reduction in waste to landfill due to the roll-out of this program,’’ Cr Petschler said.
Food waste collected during the trial was converted manually into fertiliser at the Minnamurra Waste and Recycling Depot.
The council has plans to build a larger $4.4 million facility to cope with anticipated waste volumes.