Fourteen councils from across NSW have been named winners in Local Government NSW’s annual Environmental Excellence Awards.

Parramatta City Council took out the major Local Sustainability Award for embedding its Environmental Sustainability Strategy into Council’s everyday operations.

Parramatta’s current and future population, which is expected to reach 400,000 by 2036, should benefit from energy, water and solar energy upgrades at multiple sites, delivery of Smart City initiatives such as improved flood monitoring systems, real time solar PV monitoring across seven sites, the installation of Smart Bins in key locations and multiple environmental education programs.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said Parramatta City Council joined 13 other winners drawn from 79 entrants, all of whom delivered projects targeting critical environmental issues.

“Local government has been a powerhouse for undertaking environmental projects designed to achieve real outcomes for current and future generations,” Cr Scott said.

“Each year NSW councils invest around $1.7 billion in environmental management - a significant investment, dwarfed only by the enormity of the environmental issues we face.

“Climate change is a significant problem, the impacts of the drought have hit every local government area in NSW and continue to be felt, while the recycling crisis has been brought into stark focus by China’s National Sword Policy.”

Cr Scott said the recycling crisis offered a real opportunity to create a circular economy by reusing more of our own waste, with the added potential of job creation in a modern, smart, homegrown environmental and recycling industry.

“The local government sector is unified in its call for a state-wide approach to recycling, funded by the $727 million the state government currently collects each year through its Waste Levy,” she said.

LGNSW’s coveted environmental awards, now in their 21st year, recognise exceptional environmental achievements in categories such as local sustainability, water management, climate change action, resource recovery, and asbestos management. 

Finalists projects included public education campaigns on what to bin and what to recycle, and programs focused on environmental rehabilitation, solar energy, integrated asbestos waste management, food organics and flood mitigation.

Other winners included Ballina Shire Council, Bathurst Regional Council, Cessnock City Council, Inner West Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Liverpool City Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Northern Beaches Council, City of Parramatta, Penrith City Council, Wagga Wagga City Council, Randwick City Council, Waverley Council, and Woollahra Council.

Randwick City Council’s Peter Maganov won the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability. The Manager of Sustainability and Strategic Waste was recognised for 15 years of developing and embedding sustainability in Council's operations, and beyond to the broader community and local government sector.

The full results are accessible here.