Best GRIN competition

Enter your best GRIN for your chance to become our GRINnovator!

It can be an idea for the home, school or workplace. Be recognised for your ideas and contributions.

How to enter Best GRIN

GReen INnovation Competition

Randwick Council's Best GRIN, or 'Give us your best green innovation' competition aims to help protect Randwick's environment by encouraging us all to think creatively about sustainability.

Do you have a creative idea to help protect Randwick's environment? It can be an idea for the home, your school or workplace, something that will help us become more sustainable in our daily living.

Can you think of a creative way we can save energy or water? How about recycling and reducing waste to landfill? Perhaps you have an idea about protecting our beaches or an idea about how we can reduce our car use. How about creative ways to reduce food waste? If your idea or suggestion supports reducing our impact on the environment, then we want to hear about it.

The Best GRIN ideas competition is open to all local residents, businesses, schools and Council staff members. All ideas and suggestions are received in the spirit of improving or protecting the local environment in the City of Randwick. Council does not intend to be responsible for the implementation of every idea submitted, but endeavours to promote the best suggestions received.

Council will publicise your best ideas and recognises the Winning and Highly commended ideas at our Best GRIN award ceremonies.

How the winners are selected

We are looking for:

  • innovation
  • practical and realistic ideas
  • relevancy to households, businesses, schools or other organisations.

Each Best GRIN suggestion is considered under the environmental themes of: Coastal protection; Conserving resources; Tackling greenhouse and Protecting biodiversity. The Best GRIN ideas are reviewed seasonally by a team of sustainability experts.

Best GRIN suggestions Council has implemented

  • supported the installation of stingless native bee hives into the school grounds of Randwick Public School to enhance learning about bees and the vital role they play in pollinating food crops (2015)
  • linked in Council run gardening courses with local community garden groups (2015)
  • supported weekly fresh food market in the school grounds (2015)
  • lunchtime Lifestyle gardening sessions encouraging staff to maintain and use the garden produce (2015)
  • providing households with free bio-degradable bags that can be thrown in the green garden waste bin and then be used for compost (2013) – this led to the implementation of Randwick's food waste collection trial
  • filtered water drinking stations and water bottle refill at the beaches and on the coastal walks, as well as in major parks and sporting fields (2012)
  • bicycle recycling and repair hub (2012) – the outcome is the LaPerouse ReCycles bike depository that repairs bikes and donates the 'as new' bike to local schools (2012)
  • PVC piping to transfer collected rainwater from one side of the Council Administrative Centre building to the other, to enable 'guilt free' car fleet washing (2008)
  • 'NO Junk Mail' letterbox stickers (2007).
  • an emissions trading scheme between local Councils (2007). 12 NSW Councils participated.

For current and previous Best GRIN Winners and Highly Commended ideas please see below.

2019 Best GRIN Winners

  • Kensington Public School for reducing single use plastics in their school canteen. Plastic containers such as takeaway style containers, cups and cutlery were replaced with durable multi-use plastic items. Also replaced, was plastic straws with reusable spoons and supplied school branded reusable cups for each student in the school plus new students get the schools reusable cup and a reusable bag on enrollment. The school has further plans to reduce plastic use by purchasing mesh covers for food display. The School plans is to implement a reward system for students for returning their items to the canteen. Once the student returns five items, they will receive an incentive such as an ice-block. Another idea is to create drop off points around the school where students return their items.
  • 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 or should be planted. It could be called "Tree Gap" or "Trees for Randwick" …or similar.
  • 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 whilst 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.Further, there is a ‘No Stopping’ zone on one side of the tree, however, many people park their cars there, adding stress to the tree and its roots. Replacing parts of the existing hard surface with a verge and spot garden would provide clearer demarcation of parking spaces. It would also allow for the grounding of already-formed aerial roots there, to add structural support to the tree’s branches. The tree’s high branches reach across the street creating a beautiful canopy, with a clump of aerial roots hanging right above a gap between parking spaces. This clump of roots in particular presents the best opportunity for offering support to the tree, and without interfering with car traffic flow or parking space availability.

Highly Commended

  • Randwick resident, Navami Sunil receives a highly commended award for the suggestion of neighbourhood biogas or wormfarm/ compost or similar drop off stations - residents who don't have any of these facilities at home can bring their decomposable kitchen waste in a bin and tip it in. Or a pickup option - this can be put to trial in a certain area and household waste can be collected in decomposable bags once or twice a week.
  • Local student Kohaku Nakagawa-Lagisz from Randwick Public School suggested all new and some existing buildings be required to have green roofs and walls. This would provide more habitat for birds and insects, capture carbon dioxide to help reduce the effects of climate change and cool the buildings and streets.
  • Randwick City Council officer Christopher Da Silva and resident Daniel Ella for their Pollution Education Project, 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.
  • Highly commended resident, Aleesha McGrath for the idea of an app or online game that teaches and tests people on how to recycle and sort waste. People that complete the test are recognised and rewarded.
  • Resident Monique Doyle is commended for the idea of strengthening partnerships between Council and soft plastic recycling groups like REDcycle including encouraging soft plastic recycling facilities in schools, and for Council to commit to purchasing the recycled products, for example park benches, bollards and custom made items made from the re-purposed soft plastic.
  • Resident Raquel Esteban Roldan suggested a clothing exchange market be held next to the beach. No money is exchanged, the currency is rubbish collected from the beach or clothing that you no longer need. This idea brings the community together, helps clean our local beaches and saves money.
  • Shamin Fernando for the idea of recycling collected cigarette butts to make pavers and park benches. Up to 25% of litter is cigarette butts.
  • Local resident Vicki Johnston who proposed Council support a group of interested residents who watched the movie 2040 to meet and unpack and explore the strategies in the movie and see what may be able to be implemented in Randwick Local Government Area.

Special Recognition

  • Randwick Public School student, Totoro Nakagawa-Lagisz for his suggestion of a large worm farm for Randwick Public school. Students would learn to take care of it, make worm tea and soil for the kitchen garden, as well as improve environmental education at school and start recycling more food waste at school, helping the kitchen garden with nutrients. Totoro suggested that one of the challenges of the idea was that somebody needs to remember to make the worm tea and use it.
  • Randwick Council officer, Nicole Ella and the Des Renford Leisure Centre Crèche for their food-scrap recycling program, where children learn how to compost and wormfarm  at the crèche, teaching the children the importance of recycling and looking after the environment at a very young age. Great initiative.

2018 Best GRIN Winners

  • Randwick resident Steve Grellis suggested placing clean-up/ pick-up litter stations along Randwick’s coastal walkway and other beachside locations. The idea of the clean-up stations is to make it easier for everyone to do their bit in keeping the coastline clean. You can record your beach clean finds directly to social media, inspiring others to get on board with keeping the coastline clean and pristine.
  • Randwick City Council officer Bronwyn Englaro for the idea of Council advancing its existing coffee pod recycling scheme by coordinating coffee capsule collection across the Council. Currently, whilst the aluminium and plastics used in coffee pods is very easy to recycle, the pods can’t be placed in a regular yellow-lid recycling bin as they are too small to be recovered at regular recycling facilities. By purchasing dedicated coffee collection boxes to recycle the pods and by transitioning to reusable stainless steel capsules and/or compostable capsules, an estimated 24,000 coffee pods per year can be saved from going to landfill from Council facilities alone
  • Clovelly Childcare Centre is commended for establishing a parent-run sustainability committee. The Centre’s Sustainability Committee was established in October 2008 and oversees grant applications; working bees; parent rosters in caring for the chickens, guinea pigs and sting-less bees; the edible garden and organising the Green Fair and zero waste projects. Additionally, since its inception, the Clovelly Childcare Centre Sustainability Committee has installed two rainwater tanks, established compost bins, underground and above ground worm farm systems, solar panels, purchases 100 % Green Power, has setup a Sustainability Street, established the Clovelly Beach Kindy Zero Waste Project, installed sting-less native bees and are moving towards creating an urban permaculture garden. What an impressive list of sustainable initiatives! Further, the Centre supports local businesses, buys organic produce whenever possible, ensures all cleaning materials used onsite are biodegradable and ethically sourced. The group collects soft plastics and recycles these weekly at Randwick Council's Perry Street Recycling Centre. Through these initiatives, the children and school community are continuing to learn about living sustainably. In the latest initiative children are learning to make bees-wax wraps and are sewing fabric covers to keep food fresh, resulting in reducing the use of single-use plastic film wrap for lunches at the Centre.

Highly Commended

  • Randwick resident, Malgorzata Nakagawa-Lagisz receives a highly commended award for the suggestion of establishing collection points for plastic bottle caps, including at shopping centres and schools as well as at regular recycling collection points to increase plastics recycling rates and
  • A second highly commended award goes to Malgorzata Nakagawa-Lagisz for suggesting creating free street libraries in public playgrounds for both children and their carers. The donated books could be from libraries or charities and would result in increasing appreciation of books and preventing them from going to landfill.
  • Local students Totoro Nakagawa-Lagisz and his brother Kohaku Nakagawa-Lagisz from Randwick Public School are also highly commended. Totoro suggested creating after-school bushcare groups to look after the green areas in Randwick. This would increase plantings in and around schools, help children learn about nature and create a shared sense of commitment to keeping open spaces litter-free. Kohaku for recommending using technology to keep our streets and parks clear of litter and dumped items. For example, by placing cameras in illegal dumping hotspots to deter people from leaving their unwanted items for others to clean up.
  • Randwick City Council officer, Greg Muller suggested using lightweight, European wooden pallets to make low cost outdoor lounges. Otherwise scrapped due to road freight requirements in Australia, these shipping pallets are a valuable resource. This idea not only saves money and reduces waste, it also helps people learn the craft of carpentry.
  • Resident, Svetlana Tkachenko suggested a website for the public to discuss improvements in the local area. The website would include a map locating areas of interest to the community, and include improvements to road safety, waste management and better cycling routes. The website provides a platform for discussion of new ideas, promotes transparency and collaboration and helps build a healthier, safer and greener city for Randwick.
  • Resident Bradley Halicek is commended for the idea of ‘Power Me Shelter’ a sustainable parking solution for driverless electric cars of the future. The sustainable features of the Power Me Shelter are the recycled plastics used in the structure with roof-top solar technology for recharging the vehicles. This idea provides an opportunity to re-use plastic waste, and starts a conversation for the future about autonomous cars and future public parking facilities.
  • Randwick resident Jemima Woo proposed a 'precious plastic' recycling workspace in Randwick. This idea sees a shipping container converted into a community workspace that turns plastic waste into valuable items. In place around the world, the precious plastic project connects groups and individuals across the globe who are eager to find solutions to reducing the mountains of plastic waste pilling up in our landfills and oceans. With 91% of plastic waste NOT being recycled in the world, the idea provides tangible solutions, a platform to connect with like-minded people and an opportunity to educate the community on plastics in our environment. For ideas and videos for making products from recycled plastics watch the series on YouTube.

2017 Best GRIN Winners

Randwick resident Christine Lloyd who suggested bringing the Alternative Technology Association’s Speed Date a Sustainability Expert sessions to Randwick, helping residents get free expert advice on green architecture and energy efficiency.

Randwick resident Heidi Dokulil who has been recognised for the idea of Council developing a Garden Lane program to reduce stormwater runoff and increase biodiversity in our City.

Year 9 Marcellin College student Oliver Turbin suggested a YouTube series featuring fun weekend projects for creating an environmentally friendly household.

Year 4 Randwick Public School student Rhea Daly suggested installing bike paths to schools so kids can ride safely to school and to reduce vehicle greenhouse emissions.

Highly Commended

Randwick resident, Richard Peters suggested solar hotwater showers at local beaches to showcase renewable energy applications in public spaces.

Local resident Dr Fred Orr proposed ‘take along’ cups and community workshops to make lanyards or sling pouches out of recycled materials to carry the cups.

Randwick City Council officer, Sharron Smith suggested, mobile water trailers to take to Randwick Council events would be more beneficial than using bottled water.

Highly commended resident, Felicity Hall suggested replacing the small round stickers on fruit and vegetables with a sticker that was made from biodegradable material, not plastic.

Randwick officer Annie Heath suggested development guidelines provide for composting areas as part of the green space in commercial and community housing developments.

Randwick resident Elisa Holgate who suggested water bottle refill stations at all Council parks and facilities. This idea reminds us to be mindful with one-time-use plastic water bottles and to protect our oceans.

2016 Best GRIN Winners

Thank you for the 25 Best Green Innovation entries we received from our community of residents, schools, Council staff and businesses. We recognised 14 highly-commended awards for 2016.

Highly Commended

Randwick resident Brooke Bannister who suggested developing Randwick specific YouTube videos on how to recycle properly. Helping us conserve our precious resources.

Randwick resident Nigel Tanner who has also suggested Council develop a recycling video showing us how to prepare recycling material to increase resource recovery rates in our City.

Local resident Michael Storey has been recognised for the idea of rewarding high recycling rate compliance by providing financial or other incentive to residents.

Randwick City Council Officer, Karl Adderley suggested replacing Council’s car-pooling vehicles with electric or hybrid cars with the aim of reducing vehicle greenhouse emissions.

Maroubra resident, Yvonne Poon suggested Council support more bicycle parking at local schools and local shops and introduce bike check training for parents at schools.

Local resident and long-standing bushcare volunteer, Jonathan Milford proposed a renewable energy power station at Malabar Headland to provide clean energy to the Eastern Suburbs.

Randwick City Council officer, Lisa Evans suggested improving bike path networks by using GPS, GoPro technology to assess bicycle-route-practicality. By attaching a GoPro to the bike riders helmet detailed information regarding road and traffic conditions, obstacles and hills can be recorded to improve safety and better asset management.

Randwick officer Annie Heath suggested Councils introduce biodegradable plates, cutlery and plastic alternatives for internal events including staff functions.

Randwick City Council officer Cian Sarkis for the idea of reducing plastic waste in the workplace by introducing commercial style milk dispensers.

Maroubra Bay Public school student, Paula Schubach for her creative idea of re-thinking plastic bag use, for example using a plastic bag as a shower cap, therefore reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Clovelly resident Martha Birch for the idea for increasing recycling rates through separating and collecting smaller recyclable items like bottle caps and placing them in an empty recyclable jar. This prevents these smaller items from being lost in the recycling processes.

Resident Ling Halbert and Randwick City Council officer Natalya Mendelevich for the idea of hosting meat and dairy-free events and festivals in recognition that 15% of greenhouse gas emissions are generated from meat and dairy production.

Randwick resident Svetlana Tkachenko who suggested monitoring and measuring noise levels as an environmental initiative. The idea includes developing noise ratings for appliances, noise indicators at shopping centres and on transport and sharing ideas and feedback through online platforms.

Randwick resident Doug Hawkins who suggested raising awareness on how our stormwater systems work by stenciling all drains in the Randwick catchment with the names of the beach they drain into. This idea reminds us of how chemicals and rubbish in the streets ends up at our beaches.

2015 Best GRIN Winners 

Bodhi Maclean, 7 year old Maroubra resident
Idea: to plant out the laneway near his house.
"My 7yr old son came up with the idea to have a street paper plane comp to raise funds to get gear to make our laneway (at the end of McIver place Maroubra) fixed up; weeded and planted out".
Bohdi created the flyer and dropped it into neighbours letterboxes.
The idea showed leadership in bringing the community together in wanting to 'green' the neighbourhood through planting open spaces.

Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith, Randwick resident
Idea: GREENroom popups.GREENroom is a nomadic popup space that promotes sustainable lifestyles to the wider community. All are invited to engage with, learn about, share and discuss environment & sustainability related ideas. Despite the many innovative ideas that already exist, it is difficult to communicate these ideas effectively to the wider community who may yet have an interest in environmental sustainability.
GREENroom popups are accessible, occupying otherwise vacant shopfronts along Randwick's main shopping strips. Businesses may showcase eco-products and Council may advance its own initiatives.
Theme addressed: conserving resources, community education

Suzanne Williamson, Council Officer, Randwick City Council
Idea: a free (or low cost) beach bus shuttle around the beaches of Randwick City, from Clovelly to La Perouse.The idea to reduce car use and to showcase the amazing beaches along Randwick's 29 kilometres of coastline. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes areas of Randwick City that are less visited. The idea is that Council sponsor a beach shuttle that would travel in a continuous loop to promote the iconic coastal walkway. People could enjoy walking the coastal walk in short sections, experiencing a wider area of the coast. People who are limited by time and ability would know they could access a bus to take them further, or bring them back if they were less able to walk the longer distances.Theme addressed: tackling greenhouse

William Crowe, Randwick resident
Idea: Produce a publicly available tree shade map of Randwick City – as done in Melbourne City – and have Council use this for strategic planting to fill canopy gaps. Residents and visitors will have more options to walk about the City during the many hotter months. It could also encourage outdoor walking and running exercises for residents.
One reason the City of Melbourne introduced the canopy map was for people to plan outings if they needed to leave the house in extreme heat events.
Theme addressed: tackling greenhouse, protecting biodiversity.

Highly Commended

Annie Heath, Coogee resident
Idea: litter reduction campaign around Randwick's beaches.
Council placing anti-littering messages, every 20 meters along the beach promenades. The message is used in conjunction with an anti-littering mascot. The bins would be placed strategically along the coast with the anti-littering message.
The judges noted that through learning's from past campaigns, signage and mascots have little effect on litter reduction, but the possibilities of the Council conducting a study to learn where to better place public bins is a great initiative.
Theme addressed: coastal protection

Frances Richards, Randwick resident
Idea: to provide secure bike parking at light rail terminal hubs. Although the idea is not original in as much as this has already been a consideration in the planning, the idea extended to provide incentives for commuters to use their bikes, instead of cars to get to the terminal.
Another interesting idea is to provide cycle centres at the light rail terminal hubs that have lockers, showers and a bike repair outlet for the bike users.
Theme addressed: tackling greenhouse

Kooloora Gardening Group, Bilga Crescent Malabar
Idea: Link in Council's gardening courses with community garden groups. The Kooloora Community Gardening team proposed gardening workshops run by Council be available to the Kooloora Community Gardeners to support the local community in ongoing learning about food growing. This idea translated into Randwick Council's Term 2 Sustainable Gardening and Permaculture workshops being held at the garden. The success of the workshops enabled the Kooloora Gardeners to meet their needs and for Council to meet its needs in continuing to provide its regular workshops, but in a different location. The initiative further provided an opportunity for community members who would not have ordinarily met, to meet up. Background - Council runs courses on organic gardening and permaculture four times a year. The suggestion was to run one of the courses at a local community garden to support the garden and maintain good gardening practices, maintain enthusiasm and introduce new people to the garden. Kooloora community garden was set up through Housing NSW and the Environmental Trust in 2011, through the SAVE (Sustainable Action Values Everyone) program. There are 5 SAVE gardens in the Randwick LGA.Theme addressed: protecting biodiversity, community education

Suzanne Williamson, Council Officer, Randwick City Council
Idea: reduce the numbers of cars on the road and in particular, reducing the number of cars taking short trips on our roads by increasing the number of home deliveries of non-perishable shopping items. Council could 'partner' with local supermarkets and support home delivery of non-perishable groceries, reducing car use and greenhouse gas emissions.Background - the number of car vehicles are increasing in Randwick City at a greater rate that the number of people.Theme addressed: tackling greenhouse

Randwick Public School
Idea: A fresh food market in school grounds over the weekend when the school is not in use providing alternative access to fresh, local and seasonal food sourced directly from the food producer. This provides local residents with a greater variety of foods and the opportunity to learn about how food is produced and how to use it. It also provides community members the opportunity to support the local community, local businesses and the environment….plus an added fund raising opportunity for the school.Randwick Public School negotiated with Council and the wider community to support the first fresh, all local farmer grown produce market in the City of Randwick. The market opened on 4 April and is open each Saturday.
Theme addressed: protecting biodiversity, conserving resources, community education

Randwick Public School
Idea: No rubbish at school. Introduce a no rubbish policy at schools. Parents requested that children that bring rubbish to school with them take the rubbish back home. For example, with chip packets and plastics, students are asked to take home and dispose of in their own residential waste bins. Compostable waste can be placed in the compost bins provided at the school, but all other waste is to be taken back home. This provides valuable education to the students and parents about packaging waste, reduces the waste removal costs for the school, enabling the school to use those funds for educational needs and teaches about what can be composted.
Theme addressed: conserving resources, community education

Brydie Pereda, parent Randwick Public School
Idea – To install stingless native bee hives into school grounds to enhance learning about bees and the vital role they play in pollinating food crops. Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops, would die off. Stingless native bees provide valuable learning opportunities for students and increase the diversity of important pollinators for the school garden and other vegetation around the school. Theme addressed: protecting biodiversity, community education.

Di Thian, resident Kensington
Idea: to reduce kerbside waste from Council Clean-up days. Achieved; through online selling or swap sites. Council could promote the free listing sites through Council's website or newsletters. Sites like FreeCycle or Gumtree can be a great avenue to swap and/or sell household goods that would otherwise go to landfill. Although the idea itself is not new, the idea of Council promoting these avenues to our residents is a timely reminder of the many alternatives available to promote reduce, reuse and recycle.Theme addressed: conserving resources

Boyd Webster, Maroubra resident
Idea: Provide bush care sessions as part of Randwick's Marine and Coastal Discovery Program.
Background - Council runs the Marine and Coastal Discovery Program three times a year, providing valuable hands on education to residents and visitors. The program includes coastal bush walks and bush tucker trail walks. Council also supports volunteer bush regeneration activities where local residents volunteer their time and skills to regenerate coastal habitats. The bush regeneration groups meet regularly and have many valuable skills to pass on to the next generations. The idea is to include a bush regeneration activity as part of the seasonal Marine and Coastal Discovery program where hands on skills can be learnt and education on protecting our coastal areas.
Theme addressed: coastal protection, protecting biodiversity, community education.

2014 Best GRIN Winners 

The most recent Best GRIN WINNERS were recognised at a presentation ceremony with Mayor, Cr Scott Nash on 22 July  2014.

Michelle Morrissey with the idea of footwear recycling of old sports shoes, dress shoes, sandals and thongs. The idea of providing special bins to collect these items or drop off points increases recycling and diverts these items from landfill that would otherwise take many, many years to decompose or maybe not decompose at all. Michelle suggests that to kick off the campaign, we could have an "old thong/ flip flop "month, where special big baskets are provided for collections. Rubber thongs, or flip flops can be repurposed into materials to make playground surfaces, mats and colourful toys. Michelle's idea relates to the theme of 'conserving resources and tackling greenhouse'.

Staff member, David Levy with the suggestion of recycled office paper notepads. Although recycled note pads are not a new concept, the innovation here was that David took it upon himself to make up and distribute the notepads to all Council workers.Producing the notepads is an excellent reminder that paper recycling means saving trees, water and money for Council and the wider community. David's suggestion covers the themes of 'conserving resources' and 'tackling greenhouse'.

Claremont College Year 6 students 'DogPoomentary' a video production raising awareness of the environmental impacts of uncollected dog doo's on our coastal areas and Year 4 students Tom Findlay, Matthew Awad and Paul Nicolaou for wanting to change the way we think about graffiti with their commentary on street art vs graffiti. These ideas relates to the theme of 'community education', 'protecting biodiversity' and conserving resources.

DogPoomentary Link to youtube video (4:25 mins)
The Graffiti Trackers  Link to youtube video (10:51 mins)

Highly Commended

Local resident Donna Wiltshire with the suggestion of a fun interactive art project to encourage people to throw their bottle tops in the bin rather leaving them in the grassy areas behind the beach. Donna thought of the idea of creating large clear Perspex sculptures where people could drop their bottle tops inside. The tops would fill up the sculptures over the course of a weekend, a week, a month or longer.... the community could then see how many tops are being removed from the grass and being diverted from landfill. The art work could include words like 'Cleaning Coogee, Greening Coogee'. As further incentive people could guess how many bottle tops have been thrown into the sculptures and win a prize. Donna's suggestion relates to the themes of 'conserving resources' and 'community education'.

Council staff member, Josh Keech, with the suggestion of introducing a soft plastics collection service at Council's Administration building that can be accessed by residents and staff. Staggeringly, Australians use over 1.3 million tonnes of plastic each year. We are great recyclers, with 46% of waste recycled each year; however, this still means that over half of our waste ends up in landfill. Randwick Council recently introduced soft plastic recycling at the Perry Street Recycling Centre in Matraville. As we know, plastic shopping bags and cling wraps cannot go into the yellow lidded bin. Now they can be collected and are being sent locally to be re-purposed into recycled plastic products, such as outdoor furniture and signage for schools and communities. This suggestion relates to the themes of 'tackling greenhouse' and 'conserving resources'.

Randwick staff member, Bronwyn Englaro for suggesting polystyrene recycling collection from Council's Administration Centre. Council from time to time collects large amounts of polystyrene through its purchasing of multiple items. These items were previously taken to landfill sites. Council has recently introduced polystyrene recycling at the Perry Street Resource Recovery Centre which is now diverting this bulky and non-biodegradable material. Bronwyn's idea is timely and has already seen many cubic metres of polystyrene going to good use. This suggestion relates to the themes of 'tackling greenhouse' and 'conserving resources'.

Local Claremont College student, Ruby Cogan with the idea of rewarding recycling. Ruby asks, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a way that we could reward people and companies for great recycling. Ruby has produced a short video to convey her message and improve recycling in Randwick. This suggestion relates to the themes of 'conserving resources' and 'community education'.

Rewarding Recycling Link to youtube video (4:38 mins)

Hamish Boyd, Claremont College student with the idea of increasing waste collection by providing more bins. Hamish says "We're messy! We need more bins in Randwick, bins that are both for recycling and for general rubbish. I don't think there are enough bins around". Hamish also produced a short video to convey his message. The judges particularly liked that the video was a great way to educate our community in ensuring we use our bins in the right way. This suggestion relates to 'tackling greenhouse' and 'community education'.

Dumping and Littering Link to youtube video (4:19 mins)

Randwick City Council's Corporate Improvement Team, especially team members, Sandeep Virdi and Luke Fitzgerald for the idea of creating a sustainable office.The Corporate Improvement Team is located in a separate building from Council's core Administration Centre. As a fairly isolated team, the suggestion was to include for the office, food scrap caddies for the kitchen along with a compost bin that would be maintained by the staff; introduce paper & cardboard recycling crates and commingled recycling bins. Although the idea is not necessarily new, the judges felt that the concept of working as a team and strategically planning and consulting recycling experts to ensure a more sustainable outcome showed innovation.This idea is linked with the themes of 'conserving resources' and 'tackling greenhouse'.

2013 Best GRIN Winners

Local resident Phil Allen with his suggestion of "remove a weed, plant a local (native) plant" day or week for Randwick. This would encourage plantings suitable for Randwick at the right time of the year for the plant. The theme for Phil's suggestion covers the themes of 'protecting biodiversity', 'tackling greenhouse' and community education.

Council staff member Matshepo Molalla with her idea of providing information about sustainability updates to Council's over 700 staff though the internal communications pages, Simeon. Matshepo's idea relates to the theme of 'community education'.

Randwick staff member Suzanne Williamson who has suggested implementing a food awards program where local food businesses are assessed on measures they take to provide safe and healthy food; use environmentally sustainable business practices; and provide safe and accessible food premises. Businesses that meet the requirements are featured in a 'Best Bites' food guide. Assessment can be held in the areas of: Nutrition & Allergen Awareness, Waste & Recycling, Energy & Water Efficiency, Tobacco & Alcohol Compliance, Access for All. This idea relates to the theme of 'community education', 'conserving resources' and tackling greenhouse gas'.

Local Randwick resident Michele Day for suggesting Council introduce clothing collection bins into high density housing complexes to increase recycling opportunities and work opportunities. The idea means there is a convenient way to donate unwanted clothes and other cloth materials. Increasing items that can be on-sold or reprocessed, means fewer discards will end up in landfill. This suggestion relates to our 'conserving resources' and 'community education'.

Local Clovelly resident Barbara Taylor for the idea of Council offering to include in Council's Randwick eNews a list of takeaway cafes and restaurants that support customers taking their own containers, cups and mugs for takeaway food and/ or drinks. This idea is linked with the theme of 'conserving resources' and 'community education'.

Randwick staff member Oscar Guillen's suggestions relating to 'tackling greenhouse' and 'conserving resources'. Oscar is receiving recognition for two ideas. Firstly, the idea of creating roof gardens and other gardens, including vertical gardens around Council buildings. Council's Prince Henry Centre already provides an example by incorporating a roof garden into the design. Secondly for the idea that Council incorporate a message at the bottom of Council's emails which reads for example; PLEASE BE GREEN, READ ON YOUR SCREEN. Think before you print.

Highly Commended

Randwick Council's Sue Susic for suggesting that Randwick Council advertise the streets and areas where household cleanup collections are being held each week. There are two general cleanup days per year and also two free cleanup days per residence each year. Council can advertise these in the Mayor's Column, local papers and radio alerting residents to the opportunity of diverting items from landfill. This idea is linked with the theme of 'conserving resources'.

Randwick Council's Business Development Officer Suzanne Williamson for suggesting providing alternative eco-friendly gifts to visitors and employees, including the opportunity to donate to a charity.Thank you Suzanne. The related themes here are 'conserving resources'.

Local resident Mandie Smith for her idea of providing residents with free bio-degradable bags that can be thrown in the green garden waste bin and then be used for compost! This suggestion relates to 'tackling greenhouse'.

Local resident Kellie Parkin, for proposing that Randwick City Council help schools promote cycling to school. Support could come through installing bike racks, working with schools to ensure that safe bike routes are promoted and facilitated including crossings, signage and education. This idea is linked with the theme of 'tackling greenhouse' and 'community education'.

2012 Best GRIN Winners

Local resident Judith Flanagan for suggesting a tool-lending libraries. Judith's entry stated, "a tool library is an excellent example of reducing, reusing and recycling as people can donate tools they no longer need and people in need of them will not have to buy new tools just to do one job". A tool lending library generally encourages reduced consumption and increased community spirit. The theme for Judith's suggestion covers the themes of, conserving resources, tackling greenhouse and community education.

Local resident Matt Strach's idea of placing filtered water drinking stations and water bottle refill at the beaches and on the coastal walks, as well as in major parks and sporting fields. Matt's idea relates to the theme 'conserving resources'.

Randwick staff member Frank Rosso, for suggesting installing an Envirowash paint brush and roller cleaning unit in the paint shop at the Council's Storey Street depot. This idea relates to the theme 'conserving resources and protecting biodiversity'.

Council's Bronwyn Englaro with her idea of providing small compost bins at each kitchen area of the Council, encouraging responsible use of food waste in the work place. This idea relates to the themes of 'community education' and 'conserving resources'.

Randwick staff member James Bejhan with his idea of embedding sustainability further into Council's operations by providing training in sustainability as part of the Council's work training. Particularly learning how to recycle properly in the work place as an example of a course that could be beneficial for staff.

Highly Commended

Randwick staff member Jeanette Graham for suggesting Randwick Council support a baby and kids market every two to three months for the Eastern Suburbs. This would be a great way to raise money for a local kids charities, save parent's money and a great way of recycling. This suggestion relates to our 'conserving resources'.

Local Coogee resident Dean Arden and staff member Sue Susic for their ideas for 'Second-hand Sunday' and 'Off the kerb!' .Second Hand Sunday is a community event that encourages residents to hold garage sales and sell their unwanted goods prior to a scheduled quarterly Clean-Up collection and 'Off the kerb', promotes recycling prior to Council Clean-Up days through advertising. Residents can collect what they want to reuse. The aim of these innovative ideas is to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. These ideas are linked with the theme of 'conserving resources.

Randwick Council staff member Lynsey McGarvey 's ideas of a bicycle recycling and repair hub and the second idea of promoting public transport through Council and businesses detailing alternative transport routes on stationery, letterheads, with compliments slips and emails. Lynsey's idea has translated into LaPerouse Recycles,a bicycle repair project at Yarra Bay House where staff and volunteers repair and recycle unwanted bicycles for use in local schools and the community.

Local resident Frances Richards with the suggestion to provide the option of submitting DAs electronically. This suggestion relates to 'conserving resources and tackling greenhouse'. Frances is unable to attend today.

2010/2011 Best GRIN Winners

Local resident Eric Bae for encouraging recycling through a community website, FREALLY. By giving away your unwanted items for free, you are able to freely be given items you need in return. The idea relates to the themes 'conserving resources' and 'community education'.

Randwick Staff member Stephen Fay with the suggestions of providing e-waste facility and compact fluorescent globes deposit at Perry Street recycling centre; providing recycling information and mulch. This relates to the theme 'conserving resources' and community education'.

Adrian McKeown, Planning Officer, with the suggestion to create a bike maintenance locker on the ground level of Council's administration building. The theme for Adrian's suggestion is 'tackling greenhouse'.

Michelle Kline, Events and Marketing Supervisor, with the idea of an annual volunteering day where staff has the opportunity of working with a 'green organisation' or bush care group during the year.

Randwick staff members Oscar Guillen and Nick Rennenberg for the suggestion for the option to receive payslips via email. This idea relates to the theme 'conserving resources'.

Silvana Ferraris, Randwick staff member, with the suggestion of worm farms at Council where food waste is recycled and used for compost. This theme relates to 'conserving resources' and 'tackling greenhouse'.

Highly Commended

Youth Library Officer Samantha Sheppeard-Boros and Environmental Health Officer Oscar Guillen for suggesting more sustainable purchasing of fair trade certified products and looking into a 'food miles' program in and across Council. This suggestion relates to our 'conserving resources' and 'tackling greenhouse' themes.

Shant Neshanian, Randwick staff member, for his idea of engaging primary and secondary students in 'painting' Council's green waste trucks, displaying and promoting recycling in the community. Shant's suggestion relates to 'community education'. Randwick staff members Lorraine Simpson, Philip North and Gordon Groves with the suggestions of supporting a greener car fleet. The three suggestions are; providing arrangements that encourage the leasing of more fuel efficient vehicles, including gas conversion and sustainable transport incentives for staff to relieve parking around Council. This suggestion relates to 'tackling greenhouse'.

Last Updated: 24 October 2022
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