A New South Wales Council has been announced as a finalist for the Keep Australia Beautiful Awards’ Sustainable Cities award. 

Penrith City Council is one of six councils to receive recognition as a finalist for the Overall Sustainable Cities Award category, which recognises a metropolitan council that has successfully undertaken projects or actions in multiple areas of sustainability and inclusion.

This is the second year in a row the Council has been nominated. 

Penrith City Mayor, Todd Carney, said that it was an honour to be announced as a finalist for the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities award, with four of Council’s innovative programs recognised across three award categories (Circular Economy, Resource Recovery and Waste Management, and Communication and Engagement).

“We take great pride in our sustainability initiatives, and I am pleased that the hard work of our teams and the proactive uptake from our community is being recognised by such a prestigious award,” Mayor Carney said.

“We’ve been recognised for four of our inaugural programs, including our recycled coffee cups being reused in road surfaces, our textile and bicycle drop-off days, and vacation care bicycle workshops.”

The four programs include:

Recycled Coffee Cups in Road Base (Category: Circular Economy)

Council collaborated with State Asphalt NSW, University of NSW, and Closed Loop, to investigate innovative solutions to single-use coffee cup waste as part of their circular economy strategy. 

As a result, Council resurfaced 740m of local roads with PAK-PAVE asphalt road base as part of an Australian first pilot project, incorporating 50 per cent recycled materials including fibres from single-use coffee cups. 

The project used 136,000 coffee cups collected from eleven Simply Cup collection points across the LGA.

Textile Drop-off Day (Category: Resource Recovery and Waste Management)
Council partnered with Macarthur Strategic Waste Alliance and Textile Recyclers Australia to host its  inaugural textile drop-off day, resulting in 189 residents attending and dropping off over 4t of clothing, linen and other textiles for donation to local charities and recycling into new products. 

Textiles account for 20 per cent of residual bin waste in the Penrith community. This project is a New South Wales Environment Protection Authority Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.

Recycle Your Bicycle — Bike Drop-off and Repair Event (Category: Resource Recovery and Waste Management)
With many community members recycling and disposing of unused and old bikes through Council’s bulky waste collection program, Council partnered with Revolve ReCYCLING to host the inaugural bike drop-off and repair event. 

An estimated 1.5t of bicycles and parts were diverted from landfill, with 150 bikes dropped off for donation and 60 bikes repaired by bicycle mechanics on the day.

Wheelie Good Repair Skills – Vacation Care Bike Workshops (Category: Communication and Engagement)
Council collaborated once again with Revolve ReCYCLING to deliver an innovative program promoting circular economy principles, targeting children aged 5-12 years old. 

At six of Penrith Council’s vacation care centres, children were taught general bicycle knowledge and maintenance, including identifying the main parts of a bicycle and how to repair a flat tire and oil a bike chain. 

Children were able to take home a bicycle repair kit to use their knowledge on their own bikes. 

The program was taught to 180 children and received positive feedback from families.

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