The Blue Star Metropolitan Sustainability Awards

MJ Sustainability award

by MY Yates

The Blue Star Metropolitan Sustainability Awards were hosted by Randwick Council this month at Little Bay in Sydney.  Organised by the Keep NSW Beautiful campaign, it was a day of inspiring speakers, delicious food and a really interesting group of people, councils, parks, community centres and independent agendas.

The speakers’ subjects: the Return and Earn – a container deposit scheme for NSW, Randwick recycling centre, Battery recycling (challenges and opportunities), the Plastic Police programme, Orange City Council – striving for sustainability, Waste Mattresses – putting the problem to bed and facts about energy from waste in Australia.

Lunch was served during the awards presentation.  I was at a table with people from the Inner West Council and the Addison Road Community Centre. Lovely bunch of finalists and winners.  On behalf of the Mort Bay Community Garden, I accepted a Highly Commended Community Environmental Achievement Award for Sustainable Community Garden and Compost Centre finalist certificate.  We were in a very varied category and it was a privilege for me to represent the garden.

Our compost ‘centre’ now creates enough compost to sustain the garden without buying soil.  The main reasons being: Mo and Margaret managed to secure a grant from the Inner West Council to create a more inviting drop-off point.  It is now nicely paved and organised which makes for a cleaner, tidier place to contribute.  Secondly, members of the garden and non-members, mostly local residents, have been very generous in their efforts to contribute kitchen scraps to the compost.  It is great to see most people are not taking the easy option of just throwing scraps into the garbage, but making the effort to deliver to our compost system.  Without them, we would not be making as much as we do.  So thank you to everyone who contributes.  Also a big thank you to everyone who comes down on the working bee days and lends a hand in creating the hot compost.  Not the most pleasant job in the garden, but necessary.

The overall winner of the Awards day was Blacktown Council so they will be hosting next years awards if indeed the Keep NSW Beautiful campaign finds new sponsors.  Fingers crossed.