City takes out national Tidy Towns category award

Keep Australia Beautiful announced the winners of the 2020 Australian Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns Awards on Wednesday 14 October 2020 via an online ceremony. Mount Gambier was awarded the Resource Recovery and Waste Management category having been crowned the 2019 KESAB Sustainable Communities (Tidy Towns) winner in December.

Running nationally since 1990, the Australian Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns Awards have evolved to encompass projects and initiatives with a focus on environmental sustainability and resource management to reflect a growing awareness of the importance of community-led environmental action.

The Mount Gambier entry showcased many sustainability initiatives including Council projects such as the Mount Gambier ReUse Market, and community events and programs including ‘Recycled Runway’, volunteer work in the Valley Lakes Conservation Park and initiatives in schools to tackle waste.

Australian Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns judge Gail Langley congratulated Mount Gambier on establishing several inspiring enterprises which enabled the town to recycle effectively and reduce waste.

“The annual ‘Recycled Runway’ event and the newly established second-hand market give the community an opportunity to breathe new life into used items, diverting them from landfill,” explained Ms Langley.

“Additional waste reduction efforts such as diverting food waste from landfill and the development of education programs for schools and the community, empowers Mount Gambier residents to make well informed choices in their endeavour to reduce waste.”

The award ceremony was set to take place in Alice Springs, however due to COVID-19 the event was conducted via Zoom with community representatives invited to attend a socially distanced event at the Mayor’s Reception Area in the Civic Centre.

We are very excited about representing South Australia at the national awards and Council congratulate and thank the various community groups whose fantastic initiatives contribute to making Mount Gambier a sustainable city. – City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard

The awards set out to acknowledge the hard work undertaken by individuals and groups in rural and regional communities and share the best practices and ideas to improve towns and cities around Australia with nine category awards followed by an overall national winner.

Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Val Southam commended all the finalists in this year’s awards.

“Entrants in the Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns competition, who are largely volunteers, are some of the most dedicated and passionate people we are fortunate enough to be involved with,” Ms Southam said.

“Every year, we are inspired by the high calibre of entries demonstrating enormous community pride and environmental action. This year, under such challenging circumstances, this dedication, community spirit and commitment truly shone through.”

The initiatives that formed Mount Gambier’s submission include:

  • Recycled Runway,
  • Precious Plastic at Tenison Woods College,
  • Bunganditj (Boandik) Language Revival,
  • Valley Lake Conservation Park,
  • Community Action for Sustainability (CAS) film nights,
  • CAS ShineHub solar bulk buy,
  • Walking the SE Seasons with Nature in Mind,
  • ReUse Market,
  • Polystyrene recycling machine at the Waste Transfer Station,
  • Pest fish eradication at the Railway Lands water catchment,
  • Mount Gambier Rail Trail,
  • Clean Up Australia Day,
  • Food business organic waste trial,
  • Kitchen caddy program,
  • Compost Revolution subscription,
  • Useful Indigenous Plants of the South East guide,
  • South East Heritage Advisory Service,
  • Major retrofitting of the lighting to LED at the Mount Gambier Visitor Centre and Civic Centre, and
  • Mount Gambier Library Bookwell Program.

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