Our “Best Green Innovations” competition, or as we like to call it, “Give us your best GRIN”, began 14 years ago, seeking ideas to help create a more sustainable future and a greener Randwick City. We wanted to tap into the most innovative and simple ideas from our local residents, business people, school students and Council staff.
We know people living in the community are full of great ideas and we started this competition so we could find ways to help make our City a better place to live.
Over the years, we’ve heard lots of ideas, and where possible, we’ve been able to implement some of them into Council. This year, in 2019, we received numerous great entries, which resulted in three winning awards, eight highly commended awards and two special recognition awards.
Kensington Public Schoool
Reducing single use plastic
Congratulations to Kensington Public School who implemented a plan to reduce single use plastics in their school canteen. Plastic containers such as takeaway containers, cups and cutlery were replaced with durable multiuse plastic items. Kensington Public branded reusable cups were given to each student, plus students receive the schools reusable cup and a reusable bag on enrolment.
The school has further plans to reduce plastic use by purchasing mesh covers for food display. Although the school experiences some challenges (such as not having enough reusable containers and having the containers returned), they are working through these to find solutions such as award systems and incentives.
Randwick resident, Malgorzata Nakagawa-Lagisz for the suggestion of using the Your Say Randwick community feedback platform to create an interactive app for people to identify and submit the spots on the streets where trees are missing, and could potentially be planted. It could be called "Tree Gap" or "Trees for Randwick" …or similar.
> This idea is currently in discussion at Council.
Helping retain an iconic Hills Weeping Fig
Thanks to local resident Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith for suggesting a proactive measure to help retain one of Randwick City’s iconic street trees, the large Hills Weeping Fig in The Spot, Randwick.
As trees grow, some species produce aerial roots that can provide support to heavy branches, reducing their risk of falling. But in urban environments it is unlikely that aerial roots make contact with the ground independently. The idea is to support the tree by grounding the tree’s aerial roots with the assistance of PVC piping filled with potting mix; a new method developed and tested at the University of NSW. The pipes can be installed in just a few hours (and in just one hour if only the aerial roots on the opposite side of the street are treated) and would remain installed for a period of around one year while the roots grow (requiring little to no maintenance during that time). The pipes could be decorated by local school children, to encourage community connection and to make the pipes more aesthetically pleasing.
> This idea is currently in discussion at Council.
Highly Commended Awards
1) Navami Sunil - Neighbourhood biogas or wormfarming /composting stations.
> Composting bins are located in the local Community Gardens. Residents can contact the Community Garden coordinators. If they can’t find a community compost station, residents can compost at home by joining the Compost Revolution and get up to 80% off a compost bin, worm farm, or bokashi bin through https://compostrevolution.com.au/. Plus, Council is currently running a food waste trial for apartment blocks. This is looking to be extended to all households across the Council area.
2) Randwick Public School student Kohaku Nakagawa-Lagisz - green roofs and walls for new and some existing buildings.
> A green infrastructure plan is going to Council in August. The plan is to encourage well-designed green roofs and walls in suitable locations in Randwick City. Council intends further collaboration with universities on demonstrating the benefits of green walls and roofs.
3) Randwick City Council officer Christopher Da Silva and Matraville resident Daniel Ella - Pollution Education Project or PEP.
Using recycled materials, five Perspex cylinder canisters of one metre length are created and filled with separated pollutant materials collected during community beach clean ups. This project will be extended to educating schools in making their own canisters from recycled materials and teaching about ocean pollution.
4) Coogee resident Aleesha McGrath - app or online game that teaches and tests people on how to recycle and sort waste.
5) Local resident Monique Doyle - Encourage soft plastic recycling facilities in schools.
> Council has purchased recycled soft plastics products from a company called Replas. The idea is to continue to strengthen these relationships. Companies like Replas offer custom designs to suit individual requirements. Recycled plastic outlasts timber alternatives by many years and requires minimal maintenance making it an economical choice. An example of this in our community, is the bollards and walkway down to Maroubra Beach, which is made of recycled plastics.
6) Maroubra resident Raquel Esteban Roldan - clothing exchange market next to the beach.
> Council supports ocean and beach clean-ups and clothing swaps. In the past the sustainability team has worked with a group called Seaside Scavenge who had a similar model to the one suggested.
7) Coogee resident Shamin Fernando - Recycling collected cigarette butts into pavers and park benches.
> Cigarette butts can be recycled through a group called Terracycle. Waverly Council is part of this program see: https://twitter.com/WaverleyCouncil/status/947950560946335744 . Randwick Council, although not considering this program at the moment, will keep it in mind as a future solution.
8) Matraville resident Vicki Johnston - Exploring strategies from the movie 2040 to implement in Randwick City.
> Council is progressing this idea.
Special Recognition Awards
1) Randwick Public School student, Totoro Nakagawa-Lagisz for his suggestion of a large worm farm for Randwick Public school.
> Council supports schools with composting and wormfarming through the Compost Revolution program. The idea of a big wormfarm is great, however at this stage the Council will continue to support schools through the Compost Revolution program.