Sustainable Living

Young Shire Council is committed to the principals of Ecologically Sustainable Development. The Local Government Act of 1993 defines Ecologically Sustainable Development as the effective integration of environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations in the decision-making process.

Council aims to increase the sustainability of the Young Shire through on-ground projects to improve efficiencies as well as community education of sustainable practices.

Recognising that more can be done together, Young Shire Council has for many years worked in partnership and collaboration with other Council’s and State agencies in the region to protect and enhance our natural resources and to improve our community’s resilience.

Initiatives and projects include;

Operational Footprint

  • Paper Reduction Program - aims to reduce our consumption of paper products and printing, through the establishment of an extensive electronic records system.
  • Office Recycling - Waste products are separated including paper, mixed recyclables and organic waste.
  • Energy Efficiency - retrofitting to energy efficient light bulbs and time of use devices.
  • Water consumption – operational reviews and time of use measures.

Effluent Reuse Scheme

In 2010, Young Shire Council received substantial funding through the Australia Government’s Strengthening Basin Communities program to build water saving infrastructure to reduce its demand on potable water supplies. Significant pipelines are to be laid to deliver water to local community facilities along with pumping and electricity, water filtering and installing a reservoir at each site.

The reuse scheme will use treated effluent to water Young’s municipal parks, gardens, cemetery and sporting fields. The scheme will include reduced demand for potable water, reduced nutrient loads discharged to natural waterways and an improvement of the town’s facilities.

Save Water

In 2011 Council became a member of the savewater!® Alliance to provide the community with a range of water conservation programs. The website provides hints and tips for saving water in the community, in business, in homes, in agriculture and in the garden, as well as providing product information, awards and competitions.

Sustaining Our Towns

In 2010-2012 Council supported the Sustaining Our Towns Project. Through the project, and community identified priorities, an Energy Meter Loan Scheme was established at the local library, as well as the introduction of Sustainability Library Kits (containing a booklet with hints to save energy and water – and money – around the home, energy meters and infrared thermometers). ‘Fridge Facts’ – a magnetic notebook full of ideas for saving energy, water and increasing resource recovery was also developed and distributed to Shire residents.

Through this project Energy and Sustainability Audits were also undertaken on several Council and community facilities, with businesses also invited to participate.

Lighting Audits

Over the past several years Council has undertaken several lighting and energy audits including; 

  • Sustaining Our Towns Lighting and Energy Audits on several Council owned buildings, with actions being implemented,
  • ‘Cost of Light’ Program – audit on the lights on the exterior of the Town Hall building in Boorowa St, with changes made to reduce costs.

Community Energy Efficiency Program

Through it’s partnership with CENTROC, Young Shire was been successful in receiving CEEP funding. A CENTROC initiative, the grant will enable Councils in the region to replace lights in Council buildings and facilities with energy efficient options.

Planet Footprint

In 2011, Council signed up to Planet Footprint which monitors Council's energy and greenhouse gas performance and provides Council with reports and data. Council is using this information to help identify the highest energy consuming Council facilities, track greenhouse gas emissions and assist us in planning to reduce our carbon footprint.

This initiative has then enabled Council, for public buildings, to negotiate better value energy contracts in order to significantly reduce the electricity costs.