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We’ve set some pretty big targets to reduce our emissions. In fact, they are the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets of any Australian government – 70 per cent by 2030 (on 2006 levels).
We aim to be a low-carbon city by 2030 and we’re working towards this now. We currently have independent experts working with us on our master plans for energy, water and waste.
Trigeneration generates three forms of energy – combined cooling, heat and power. Gas (fossil or renewable) is burned in an engine that turns a generator to make electricity. Like your car, the engine gets hot. Like the heater in your car, the heat from the engine can be captured and used – in this case it’s used for heating buildings and hot water. Through a process called absorption cooling (which works like a fridge in reverse) the heat can also be turned into cooling, and can be used for air-conditioning.
Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources like sunlight, wind, rain and tides. We are even investigating turning our non-recyclable waste into energy. We’ve set a target of 30 per cent of the city’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030. We’ve got the ball rolling by installing solar power and hot water systems in several of our own buildings and have big plans to support more renewable energy options throughout and beyond the city.
Decentralised water is the collection and treatment of waste water for non-drinking use. Waste water can come from a variety of sources such as bathrooms, laundries, kitchens and even stormwater. By building a recycled water network that could be used for toilet flushing and watering gardens, we’re protecting Sydney’s precious supply of drinking water. Stormwater is already being collected and filtered through water sensitive urban design to reduce pollution.
Advanced Waste Treatment (AWT)
Advanced waste treatment is the better capture and use of waste streams. The advanced waste treatment we are investigating includes the technology that turns non-recyclable waste into energy. We already send 40,000 tonnes of household waste a year to an advanced waste treatment facility which turns rubbish into a compost-type product that is used to fill old mine sites.
Automated Waste Collection (AWC)
Automated waste collection uses a network of rubbish chutes and underground tubes to help move garbage and recycling to a single point of collection. The waste is moved from rubbish bins along underground tubes by a vacuum that is turned on intermittently at the time of collection. This vacuum system would replace the need for rubbish trucks during busy periods like New Year’s Eve.
All of these systems can work together and be installed at the same time, that’s what makes our green infrastructure plans so innovative. While each of these technologies are successfully used around the world, Sydney will be the first city to install them at once. These plans, combined with our own individual efforts to reduce our impact on the environment will create a green, global and connected city. Play your part! Visit Green Villages and find out how.