Cairns Regional Council’s latest snapshot of the state of the region’s environment has revealed improvements in waste recovery, increased electricity production from solar, and more tree planting activities.
The 14th annual State of the Environment (SoE) report presents Council’s environmental and sustainability performance and initiatives for the 2018/19 financial year.
The report, which was endorsed by Council today, shows that Cairns residents have continued to reduce their waste, while overall recycling activities have been boosted by the introduction of concrete and glass crushing.
Almost 17 per cent of construction and demolition waste was recovered through the introduction of concrete recycling (crushing), while 855 tonnes of recycled (crushed) glass was sent to market in 2018/19, an increase of 49.6 per cent compared to 2017/18.
Another positive was an overall 3 per cent reduction of general waste received by Council.
Tree planting activities continue to flourish; the Council nursery raised a total of 35,453 native seedlings in 2018/19, a 137.6 per cent increase on the previous year.
These seedlings were used for revegetation projects across the region, including the planting of 20,000 of the seedlings by Treeforce volunteers over seven hectares to re-establish the vegetation corridor at Freshwater Creek.
Activities to promote community engagement were also successful, with 311 Green Space Our Place volunteers raising over 26,000 seedlings at the Stratford nursery and planting more than 2,000 trees around the region, while the Seed Library distributed over 3,000 seed packets to residents, an increase of 2,000 from the previous year.
Electricity produced by solar increased by 168 per cent for 2018/19, compared to the previous year and provided 4 per cent of Council’s total electricity needs in 2018/19.