Posts Tagged ‘Water’

 

After being advised that the new Canterbury Bankstown Council will implement an Environment and Sustainability Committee I decided to talk to a manager about how it might work.

I was really impressed by some of the activities the former Bankstown Council has been carrying out. Canterbury Council was doing some similar activities but there are differences between what the two were doing.

Firstly we discussed the Litter Prevention Program. It started when the team wanted to know what they needed to do to change people’s behaviour. They decided to target the river areas where people regularly went and where there was significant amounts of litter. They asked people they saw littering whether they felt responsible for the litter. The majority did. A number believed that Council was also responsible. This led to a change of bins, and “The Pledge” where people made a commitment not to litter.

Different types of bins were trialled for a year. People won’t use bins that aren’t easy to use, are overfilled, or that are dirty to touch. Every summer staff would target popular areas of high litter count and ask people to put rubbish in the bin, then take a pledge to not litter. Photos were taken and displayed.

After 4 years the scheme was evaluated and, as a result, expanded.

Next to be targeted were spots where takeaway food packaging was dumped. Many people didn’t think what they were doing was littering. There was a trial of flashing signs in some key areas, such as parks: two weeks of “Do the Right Thing”;  one week of “Fines for Littering Apply”. Surveillance teams operated at different times and on different days, including Sundays, for a number of weeks.

Town centres were targetted next with similar programs. All three programs have had a positive impact in reducing litter.

Meanwhile a project initiated by the former Canterbury Council has received a NSW Excellence in the Environment Award for a new recycling initiative program. The construction of new apartments generates a lot of packaging and material that is thrown out. Bays were made available to store the unwanted materials and extra collections were organised as needed.

Canterbury Bankstown Council will set up a Program for City Resilience within the context of one for the whole of Sydney. City resilience is about anticipating the inevitable events that cause disruption and then developing strategies to reduce their impacts to the greatest extent possible.

The Council also has a focus on energy, combining the “Our Energy Future” program with the “Our Solar Future” program.

Finally we discussed natural resources. Work is being done on catchments and biodiversity with: ibis plan, rabbit control, habitat boxes, National Tree Day, and backyard biodiversity.

I still think that the merger of the two councils has led to a municipality that is way too big, but in regard to environmental and sustainability issues, I am excited about combining Canterbury’s activities and knowledgeable staff with Bankstown’s. I’m hopeful the new committee will have plenty to do to assist and support working to improve the sustainability of our environment in Canterbury-Bankstown and beyond.

Cr Linda Eisler

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Flood Plan Needs Review

FloodPlan_20091201

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THAT a rebate of $200for instal/operate a waste treatment or greywater diversion or treatment system/device (within the meaning of s68A) – single dwelling be given, if complying with Council Standards.

THAT a rebate of $370 for install/operate a waste treatment or greywater diversion or treatment system/device (within the meaning of s68A) – other development be given, if complying with Council Standards.
Moved: Cr Eisler
Background
This means that the proposed fee for 2009/10 be rebated if the greywater system complies with Council Standards.
Currently not many greywater systems are being purchased because of the economic downturn. As we have seen only a few DAs have been put through over the last year.
Using rain water for washing and toilets is a much more efficient use than just watering gardens. To then use the greywater from washing machines is the most efficient way of using rain water.
As you can see from the sample costing, putting in a greywater system is going to take some time to pay for itself. People putting in these systems are dedicated to reducing their use of fresh water and I believe that they should not face the burden of a further charge from Council.
Council, by way of rebating their charge to complying systems, can do their bit for the environment and encourage the fitting of greywater systems rather than offering a deterrent.

Currently there is no rebate for installing greywater systems.

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THAT Council recognise and congratulate the work of the City in incorporating sustainability principles and practices into the City’s programs and projects, and request the Directors to incorporate this work into a set of guidelines to guide and shape public works projects undertaken by the City and which –

(A) include:
(i) energy efficiency;
(ii) local energy generation via cogeneration, trigeneration, solar panels or other existing or emerging technology as appropriate;
(iii) rainwater capture and storage supplemented by grey water and black water recycling;
(iv) use of sustainable materials;
(v) opportunities for growing food;
(vi) the use of reflective materials on roadways and pathways to reduce heat sink effects;
(vii) inclusion of facilities to support and enhance sustainable transport;
(viii) use of native vegetation and trees;
(ix) opportunities for plantings and policies to attract native fauna, insects and birds; and
(x) other measures that reduce GHG emissions and improve sustainability as identified by staff.
(B) will further enable the City of Canterbury to demonstrate leadership in designing and constructing cutting edge sustainable projects; and
(C) will serve as a model for other public authorities, state and federal government departments and the private sector to apply in the design and construction of public works and buildings.
Moved: Cr Linda Eisler

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Dead Mullet Mystery

From the Torch Canterbury on December 4th, 2008

DEAD fish were strewn across the shores of the Cooks River last week with passersby reporting “hundreds” of fish along the banks.

A spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) said they are not aware of how many fish washed up on shore, although they’re investigating and reasons “could be many and varied”.

“We’ve inspected the site and area, and collected water and fish samples for analysis,” the spokesperson said. “It does happen from time to time in areas with industrial development around.”

The DECC said that a passerby observed white discharge from the storm water drains, which is also under investigation.

Canterbury Greens Councilor Linda Eisler said this could possibly be a result of toxic chemical spills in the water.  “I would like to know what has happened and why,” she said.

The Sydney Metro Catchment Management Authority (CMA) told the Torch that although they’re active on the Cooks River, they weren’t aware of the incident.  “There has been some fish kills in the past,” a spokesperson from the CMA said.

Peter Munro from the Cooks River Valley Association (CRVA) was working on the bush regeneration project at Croydon Park on Saturday, two days after the first sighting, and said that several canoes passed and reported hundreds of dead fish along the river.

“They were mainly 30cm mullet,” Mr Munro said. “I called Sydney Water and they checked the sewers and said they were intact.”

Gale Adams, coordinator of Stream Watch, a group who test the water regularly, is conducting an investigation to determine what the source of the killings is.

“It’s a rather unusual event,” Ms Adams said. “We aren’t able to say definitively what the reason is yet.”

Canterbury Council’s General Manager Jim Montague said they were notified by the DECC of the incident on Friday.

Anyone observing dead fish in or along the river can contact the DECC 24 hour pollution line on 131 555.

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