City of Sydney addresses energy efficiency, problem polystyrene

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

City of Sydney addresses energy efficiency, problem polystyrene

The City of Sydney has awarded 19 grants to commercial property owners, hotel operators and apartment block managers across Sydney to introduce efficiency measures through water, waste, recycling and solar energy programs.

Totalling $229,108, the grants will see buildings undergo sustainability performance ratings and assessments, as well as efficiency recommendations. They are thus an example of how the City is taking practical action on climate change, according to Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“Through our environmental grants program, we support building owners to undertake energy efficiency ratings and assessments so that they can better understand their environmental performance,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Without measuring and understanding how a building is performing, it is almost impossible to identify — and, critically, act on — opportunities to improve.

“These energy audits help us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop more sustainable resources across our city.

In addition, $15,000 worth of funding has been provided for a feasibility study at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to look at recycling and re-using polystyrene. Dr Nik Florin of UTS said the feasibility project will use digital technologies to reduce problem waste recycling, in the hope of recycling and re-using expanded polystyrene collected at the campus.

“Expanded polystyrene is a problem waste stream in the local area with few local solutions,” Dr Florin said. “This project will test a closed-loop recycling system to transform it into re-usable, durable products that benefit the community.

“The proposed system will reduce polystyrene waste through recycling, reducing the need for products made from ‘virgin plastics’, and develop an education campaign about problem waste recycling.”

Moore described the UTS project as “groundbreaking” and noted that, if successful, the system could be used by other organisations.

“Climate action requires a collaborative approach from governments, industry, academics and, of course, residents, and if the study goes well we could be rolling out this pioneering approach to waste management across our city in the future,” she said.

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