Sustainability at Council

Inner West Council is working hard to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. You told us you want to build a sustainable community for the future and we are working hard to lead the way.

Reducing our climate impact

Inner West Council is committed to sourcing renewable energy and addressing climate change. Our goals include:

  • Become carbon neutral
  • Install more solar
  • Divest from fossil fuels

I want to know how I can save energy

I want to know how I can get solar

Powering our facilities with solar

Balmain Library solar panelsSome of our most loved community and recreation buildings generate their own solar power. On-site solar reduces carbon emissions and saves money on electricity bills.

Solar panels are generating power at 31 Council facilities, including pools, libraries, child care centres and offices. We will expand solar power to more facilities over time.

You can see which local facilities are solar-powered below. Some of these facilities send solar data to the web and you can see how much power is being generated under “real time data”.

Council Facility Solar Farm Size  Solar Data
Aquatic Centres
Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre 30kW  Not on web yet
Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre Program Pool 30kW Real time data
Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre Gym 35.5kW Real time data
 Community Buildings
 Tom Foster Community Centre 25kW  Real time data
 Hannaford Centre  3.15kW  Real time data
 Jimmy Little Community Centre  2.7kW  Real time data
 Annandale Community Centre  2.42kW  Real time data
 Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery  1.7kW  Real time data
 Chrissie Cotter Gallery  1.5kW  Not on web yet
 Town Halls and Libraries
 Leichhardt Town Hall  20.09kW  Real time data
 Balmain Town Hall and Library  13kW  Real time data
 Haberfield library  10kW  Not on web yet
 Former Dulwich Hill Library  2kW  Not on web yet
 Operational Buildings
 Petersham Administration Building  20kW  Real time data
 Leichhardt Administration Building  4.965kW  Real time data
 St Peters Depot  30kW  Not on web yet
 Summer Hill Depot  15.7kW  Not on web yet
 Balmain Depot  13kW  Real time data
 Leichhardt Depot  7.28kW  Real time data
 Early Learning Centres
 Cavendish Early Learning Centre  5kW  Real time data
 Steel Park Early Learning Centre (opening date TBA)  5kW  Not on web yet
 Tillman Park Early Learning Centre  4.8kW  Not on web yet
 Leichhardt Park Children's Centre (opening date TBA)  4kW  Not on web yet
 Leichhardt Children's Centre  3.25kW  Real time data
 Deborah Little Early Learning Centre  2kW  Not on web yet
 John McMahon Child Care Centre  1.85kW  Real time data
 Foster Street Family Day Care  1.21kW  Real time data
 Parks and Ovals
 Blackmore Oval  10.35kW  Real time data
 Leichhardt Oval #1  9.88kW  Real time data
 Pioneer Park Rotunda  3.6kW  Not on web yet
 Leichhardt Park Playground  1.04kW  Real time data

Sourcing renewable energy from a NSW solar farm

Inner West Council will soon be supplied with over 4 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power each year from Moree solar farm. This amount will cover almost all of Council’s daytime electricity use, helping to power pools, sportsfields, libraries and many other facilities. A birdseye view of Moree Solar Farm in rural NSW

The solar supply begins from 1 July 2019 and will reduce Council's carbon emissions by almost 4,000 tonnes (CO2e) every year. That’s equivalent to taking more than 1000 average NSW cars off the road each year.

The solar agreement offers competitive electricity prices because a large buying group of councils purchased solar power in bulk. This will reduce the pressure on our community facilities to manage rising, volatile electricity prices.

Planning for changes in climate

Climate adaptation means safeguarding the Inner West against the unavoidable effects of climate change, such as hotter weather, worsening storms and rising sea levels. We are currently updating our climate adaptation strategy following amalgamation and will integrate the work of the three former councils.

People planting a treeIn the meantime, we are working with the community on projects that will help manage the effects of climate change, for example:

  • Greening the Inner West to provide shade through Council’s tree planting programme
  • Reducing the carbon impact of Council and the community
  • Mapping urban ‘hot spots” so these can be managed

Reducing waste at our facilities

Council is committed to the war on waste.  Here are some examples of how we reduce waste in our operations:

Our civil works team store and reuse materials whenever they can. In 2016 we reused:

  • 20 tonnes of sandstone        
  • 16 tonnes of sand
  • 50 tonnes of road base
  • 100 heritage bricks

Council was the second council in NSW to trial TonerPave. This product is a type of asphalt that uses recycled toner from printer cartridges to close the loop on cartridge recycling.

A compost bin at Tillman Park Early Learning CentreOur staff send their food scraps and tea bags to compost. This stops organic waste from going to landfill where it forms a powerful greenhouse gas – methane.

As we consolidate after amalgamation, we are careful to find homes for surplus resources.

  • Around 3000 pieces of high-vis work wear were distributed to volunteer organisations or upcycled into bags and vests for cyclists.
  • Several caddy loads of stationery were given to local community organisations.

    Check back soon to see more about our waste initiatives.

    I want to know how I can reduce waste

    I want to know about waste and recycling in my suburb

    Saving water at parks, sports fields and other facilities

    We have a program of projects to reduce water use and capture rain and storm water at Council buildings and community facilities.

    Water tanks at Marrickville Community NurseryWater efficiency

    Water efficient fixtures including taps, toilets and showers have been installed in various community facilities and Council’s operational buildings.

    Rainwater tanks

    Council uses rainwater tanks at a number of facilities, capturing water to flush toilets and water trees and gardens. We have over 569kL in water storage capacity, reducing our tap water use at pools, offices, child care centres and community nurseries.

    Sports fields stormwater harvesting and irrigation

    Council harvests and reuses stormwater at a number of parks and sport fields, saving millions of litres of water annually and tens of thousands of dollars. For example, Pratten Park is irrigated using storm water that is captured from an upstream drainage pipe. The water is filtered, stored in underground tanks and disifected using ultra-violet light before watering the Balmain Road Sportsfieldsports field. This saves roughly 8 million litres of drinking water (~3 Olympic swimming pools) and $16,000 a year. 

    Storm water harvesting is also used to water these green spaces:

    • Mackey Park
    • Birchgrove Oval
    • Easton Park
    • Leichhardt Oval No 1
    • Balmain Rd Playing Field
    • Glover St Sports Field

    Community involvement

    A number of advisory groups, made up of interested or expert residents, provide ongoing advice to Council on how to achieve our sustainability objectives. They include:

    • Environmental Advisory Committee
    • Bicycle Working Group
    • Cooks River Working Group
    • Parramatta River Working Group

    For more information, including terms of reference and upcoming meeting dates, check out the local democracy groups page.


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    Page last updated: 19 Nov 2018