Shoalhaven council picks up top honours


Shoalhaven City Council has won two award categories at this year’s Local Government New South Wales Excellence in the Environment Awards. 

Council was named overall winner in the Water Management category for its reclaimed water management scheme stage 1B and overall winner in the Transition to Circular Economy category for its glass recycling facility.

The Excellence in the Environment Awards recognise outstanding achievements by NSW council’s in managing and protecting the environment.

Paul Keech, Shoalhaven City Council acting Chief Executive Officer congratulated all involved in the two projects.

“For Shoalhaven City Council to receive top honours in two categories in the NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards is a fantastic outcome and one that the Shoalhaven community should be proud of,” Keech said.

“Council’s investment in both the Reclaimed Water Management Scheme and the new recycling glass facility demonstrates our ongoing commitment to using innovative and cutting-edge technology that will help reduce our impact on the environment.”

Council’s Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS) 1B is one of the largest, complex water recycling schemes undertaken by a local water utility. Following the success of the first stage, which was commissioned in 2002, Stage 1B works were initiated and included major upgrades to Bomaderry and Nowra wastewater treatment plants, construction of a dedicated reclaimed water transfer main beneath the Shoalhaven River, extensions to the existing REMS distribution network, as well as UV disinfection upgrades to the original works.

The upgrades have resulted in more treated effluent being reclaimed for beneficial reuse, and significantly less effluent being directed to the Shoalhaven River and associated waterways.

The construction of a new glass recycling facility in West Nowra will allow council to recover previously rejected glass fines and return it to a usable form as part of the circular economy. In January 2020, council began laying the slab for an in-house designed glass processing plant at its recycling and waste facility in West Nowra. Commissioned in May 2021, the washed glass sand has attracted interest from multiple customers, with nearly 1000 tonnes returned to the circular economy every month.

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