Sustainability strategy

Article image - Sustainability strategy ABC Gardening host Costa with sustainability officer Michelle Wilkinson and manager environment and community protection Mark Verbaken with the Sustainability Strategy.

Wodonga Council will target six priority areas including waste, water and food to ensure the future sustainability of the city.

The council is one of the first in Victoria to include a specific food theme in the strategy.

The council recently adopted its first sustainability strategy to guide decision-making and lessen the impact that growth, development and climate change has on the community.

The plan’s six environmental themes directly align with an international sustainability framework known as One Planet.

They are ecosystems, energy, infrastructure, water, waste and food.
One of the major changes proposed under the strategy is the introduction of an organic waste collection, to come into effect on June 29.

All food and garden waste will be collected in a new green-lid organics bin, as well as contaminated paper such as tissues, paper towels and pizza boxes, and pet droppings.

The organic material will then be transported to a composting facility, with the aim being to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

This will build on the good work already undertaken by the council to divert almost 80 percent of the total waste volume from landfill.
More than 5000 tonnes of waste has been reprocessed, reused or recycled in Wodonga this financial year, including soil, metals, concrete, paints, mattresses and furniture.

Other measures proposed under the new strategy include infrastructure projects that prioritise use of recycled materials and energy efficient design.

The council will lead by example by increasing its own purchasing of local and sustainable food and supporting the community in opportunities to do the same, or to grow their own food.

In the area of ecosystems, the council will aim to protect and restore existing biodiversity and natural habitats through appropriate land use and integration into the built environment.

To save water, the council will use water cycle management principles in buildings and infrastructure, and work in partnership with lead agencies to promote efficient water use, reuse and recycling.

In a bid to slash carbon emissions, the council will work in partnership with government agencies and business to identify opportunities for renewable energy generation within the city.

The strategy received Victorian Adapation and Sustainability funding through the Victorian Government.