Sydney Council’s Best Environmental Initiatives

Sydney’s a great city, but even the best cities need to make improvements in order to stay on top of their game. Here are some of our favourite environmental initiatives from Sydney Council.


Image via City of Sydney.

Footpath Gardening

Footpath gardening has become very popular in suburbs such as Chippendale and Redfern, with planers and garden beds on almost every street corner and compost bins in between. If you’ve ever thought about sprucing up the front of your home, now’s the best time to do it as the council offers partial grants to help your green dreams become a reality! All you have to do is read the footpath gardening policy and submit the checklist to the council. You don’t need to wait for the council’s approval, simply purchase the planter box, install it, fill in an application form and supply a receipt for reimbursement. The council will reimburse 50% (up to $150) of the cost of 1 planter box per property for pensioners and 25% (up to $75) for residents and local businesses.


Image via City of Sydney.

Cigarette Butts – YUK

The City of Sydney’s street cleaners collect about 15, 000 cigarette butts per day, which adds up to millions of butts per year, contributing to significant environmental issues.

Last year in Hyde Park, the council installed ‘YUK’, a typography installation filled with thousands of butts, highlighting the real cost of littering cigarette butts. The presence of cigarette butts is magnetic – it encourages more littering. ‘YUK’ aims to make Sydneysiders more aware of the effect that littering has on the environment and to be more conscious of where their rubbish goes in the future.

Rain carries litter and cigarette butts through storm water pipes directly into Sydney Harbour, reducing water quality and harming marine life. Littered butts leach toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium and arsenic into water and soil as they decompose. They are a choking risk to young children and are also ‘yukky’ to look at. The presence of cigarette butt litter is magnetic – it encourages more littering.


Image via City of Sydney.

E-Waste Recycling

According to the council, Australians generate more than 140, 000 tonnes of e-waste per year, most of it ending up in landfill. As well as filling up already limited landfill capacity, e-waste amongst normal waste can be hazardous due to potential toxic materials. In order to combat the amount of e-waste in landfill, there are quarterly e-waste drop-off days for the City of Sydney’s residents – over 95% of what is collected on these days is recycled. The next collection date is:

9 March 2013

9AM – 3PM

Bay Street Depot (Cnr Bay and Macarthur Streets, Ultimo)

You can drop off the following types of e-waste on these collection days:

  •     televisions
  •     computers – desktops, monitors, laptops and printers
  •     home and home office equipment – photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, servers, projectors, DVD players and video recorders
  •     computer peripherals such as joysticks
  •     electronic games, CDs, DVDs, tapes and cameras
  •     electronic components
  •     phones – mobiles and landlines
  •     small kitchen appliances


Image via SydneyCycleways.


Though it may be a while until Sydney rivals Copenhagen or Amsterdam in the cycling stakes, we’re definitely well on our way forward. There has been a 100 per cent increase of Sydneysiders riding bikes for transport in the past three years. According to the Australian Bicycle Council survey, twice as many Sydneysiders ride bikes for transport than the national average, and just under 32, 000 residents get on a bike in a typical week.

In order to support this environmentally-friendly trend, the council is building a 200km bike network throughout the city, which includes dedicated bike paths separating riders from traffic and pedestrians – a great example of this in action is the bike path that runs down Bourke Street in Surry Hills.

In addition to this, free cycling guides are available in many locations throughout the city and the council offers free Cycling in the City and Bike Maintenance courses held weekly at Sydney Park Cycling Centre.

Liked this post? You may also enjoy this one: Home Recycling: 5 Easy Ways to Become an Expert Recycler 


One thought on “Sydney Council’s Best Environmental Initiatives

  1. Pingback: Sustainability and Sydney: How green walls and roofs are improving the city | Bingo Group's Official WordPress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s