THE Watts Working Better project took out an award at the prestigious Premier’s Sustainability Awards in the Built Environment category last week.
The project’s success includes the upgrade of more than 13,600 street lights to energy efficient alternatives in a bid to reduce carbon emissions by 106,700 tonnes over the next 20 years, and has been operating across 11 council areas including Greater Shepparton, Campaspe, Moira, Benalla, Strathbogie, Wangaratta, Mansfield, Murrindindi and Mitchell, with Indigo and Towong Shire Councils also recently coming on board.
Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance Executive Officer, Tom Brown said the awards attracted a large number of quality entries and to be recognised by the Premier as the stand out was an exciting achievement.
“This project is unique in that it not only achieves substantial economic and environmental benefits, but it also delivers important community outcomes through its recycling component whereby the old lights are dismantled and recycled.
“We were fortunate to be able to form a partnership with Foott Waste and ConnectGV, a community organisation providing people with a disability an opportunity to gain pre-vocational skills, which allowed old lights to be pulled apart and recycled while also providing opportunities for meaningful training.
“Street lighting represents the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for a large portion of utility costs for most councils; a partnership approach has allowed councils to achieve significant savings in the cost of electricity and maintenance while also reducing their carbon footprint.”