by Lynne Blundell
Mildura Rural City Council outshone other Victorian Councils in the sustainability stakes recently when it received two awards for its environmentally friendly purchasing practices.
The Council collected the Excellence in Green Purchasing Regional Council Award and Excellence in Recycled Product Purchasing Award at the 2009 ECO-Buy Awards.
The awards reflect the Council’s efforts to ensure green and recycled products are purchased wherever possible across all areas of the organisation.
Mildura is one of the preferred sites for major solar power stations under consideration (see our story on this).
ECO-Buy is a not for profit organisation, established to encourage the purchasing of green products and services. Eco Buy Chief Executive Hugh Wareham said Mildura had shown leadership in its purchasing decisions.
“The awards show that Mildura Rural City Council is leading the way in tangibly reducing its impacts in environmental areas of greatest concern to Victorians – climate change, water scarcity, waste and pollution,” Wareham said.
As well as purchasing a wide range of water saving and greenhouse friendly products, Mildura Council invested almost five per cent of its total budget in recycled products in the last financial year – a greater percentage than any other Eco-Buy local government member in 2007/2008.
Mayor Glenn Milne said the Council had made a conscious decision to purchase and use recycled product alternative wherever possible.
“That has included things like remanufactured toners and cartridges, mulch and compost, rubber surfacing, mobile garbage bins, outdoor furniture and bollards made from recycled plastic.
The Council is also using large quantities of recycled products for infrastructure projects such as crushed concrete and rock, asphalt with recycled bitumen, crushed glass and recycled road base in road and footpath construction.
Mayor Milne said the purchasing of green products helps the Council to reduce energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate demand for environmentally preferable and recycled products and create a more sustainable future for the local community.
As part of the awards ceremony, Eco Buy announced the launch of a green purchasing program for the Victorian state government.
During 2007/2008 47 of Eco-Buy’s 59 local government members invested over $71.5 million in green products.