Council is committed to embracing new technologies and products that lead to cost savings, greater efficiencies and more sustainable outcomes for our community. Some of the recent projects we’ve undertaken are bringing action on energy efficiency, reducing our carbon footprint and providing an opportunity to recycle and repurpose waste materials. You can read about these projects below.
Council further demonstrated its commitment to addressing climate change by joining the Climate Council Cities Power Partnership (CCCPP) and pledging to implement five key actions. These pledges represent a strategic enhancement of the Council’s policy framework, enabling a more robust response to climate change.
The pledges adopted by Council at its May 2023 meeting:
- Installing renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, on council buildings to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to encourage the community to adopt similar practices.
- Establishing minimum renewable energy standards for new developments to promote environmentally responsible construction projects incorporating sustainable energy solutions.
- Implementing energy-efficient lighting throughout the municipality, thereby reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
- Reducing waste emissions through innovative practices that convert organic waste into renewable energy, thus promoting a circular economy and environmental sustainability.
- Supporting local community energy groups by fostering collaborations, sharing resources, and raising awareness about renewable energy and climate change solutions.
These commitments will require future budget allocations but represent the Council’s proactive stance in combating climate change, with the ultimate goal of fostering a sustainable and environmentally responsible community.
Council collaborated with five other Tasmanian Councils, LGAT and TasNetworks on a bulk replacement program to change the current residential street lights to more efficient LED lights.
This upgrade will create significant cost and energy savings for each Council and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Approximately 530 lights were replaced across the Municipality, with the majority in Sorell and Midway Point. The old lights were dismantled and recycled.
LED lights have a lifespan of approximately 20 years with very little maintenance required.
So far cost savings indicate an approx. $6,000 per month saving or $72,000 per annum.
In an effort to reduce waste and improve sustainability, Council trialled a new recycled asphalt product called Reconophalt in the resurfacing of the Sorell Park and Ride. Reconophalt is an innovative asphalt product that contains high recycled content from materials such as soft plastics, glass, toner cartridges and reclaimed road asphalt and is produced by the Downer Group. The product is 10-15% more expensive per sqm than standard asphalt material.
Soft plastics from approximately 252,000 plastic bags and packaging, 93,000 glass bottle equivalents, 5,700 used printer and toner cartridges and 32 tonnes of recycled asphalt were used in the resurfacing of the Park and Ride facility in Station Lane, Sorell.
Downer’s testing of Reconophalt material showed it lasted longer and was less prone to deformation than traditional forms of asphalt, which means it can better handle heavy vehicle traffic. The Park and Ride facility was an ideal place for us to trial the product.
The STCA – Regional Councils Climate Initiative Project (RCCI) aims to improve the capability and resilience of Southern Tasmanian Councils to manage the risks associated with climate change.
Sorell’s Adaptation Plan aims to improve the capability of Council to manage the risks associated with climate change. Council is currently reviewing our approach, capability and engagement methodology during 21/22 with the aim of finalising this by EOFY.