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Awards acknowledge the region’s leaders in sustainability

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

A ROMSEY waste facility and a youth leader in the City of Whittlesea are winners in their categories at this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Tidy Towns and Cities Sustainability Awards.

The awards, which celebrate environmental achievements and community spirit of individuals, community groups and councils across Victoria, announced its recipients at Zinc, Federation Square, on October 23.

Kettlewell’s Green Waste Site, a Macedon Ranges Shire Council initiative, was acknowledged for its recycling efforts in the EPA Waste Prevention and Reduction category. 

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The council-managed facility in Romsey was first developed to respond to the severe destruction caused by storms in June 2021, focusing on reducing green waste by creating repurposed products for impacted communities and councils.

Since then, the facility has processed more than 65,000 tonnes of tree and storm debris and has returned recycled or repurposed products back to impacted communities, with a total market value of more than $35 million.

It is the facility’s third award, following recognition in the Australian Workplace Health and Safety Awards and the 2023 LGPro Awards for Excellence.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council chief executive Bernie O’Sullivan said council was excited to receive another award that highlighted the benefits on a regional scale.

“This invaluable project was made possible through a strong collaboration between council and a number of hard-working council staff, Emergency Recovery Victoria and the community,” he said. 

“We were not only able to act swiftly to solve a major problem in a very practical and cost-effective way, but the most pleasing thing is to have been able to give back to affected communities.

“The facility sets a new standard for post-disaster clean up and is a model that could be easily replicated anywhere, so hopefully our learnings will also help give other councils an idea for a practical solution for emergency recovery, should they ever need it.”

In the Young Legends category, City of Whittlesea resident Tanya Sharma was awarded for her dedication to protecting the planet.

The young leader initiated a project acknowledging the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter in the community and created a petition gathering community support to request council’s action on education and installing specialised bins in schools and parks.

Ms Sharma also interacted with other councils and reached out to the Prime Minister, joining a United Nations environment program to support her cause.

Determined to make an impact, her environmental commitments went further in tackling palm oil usage and tree planting in her hometown in India, receiving acknowledgement as a semi-finalist for an environmental award.

To find out more about the Tidy Towns winners, people can visit www.kabvic.org.au/2023-winners.

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