The significant growth and development planned for the North District will mean that demand for energy and water and the generation of waste will increase. Without new approaches to the use of energy and water and management of waste, greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase.
The District has an opportunity to include precinct-wide energy, water and waste efficiency systems, for land release at Ingleside, urban renewal, industrial and urban services land and centres. Adopting a place-based approach is necessary to achieve the best sustainability outcomes, including renewing and replacing inefficient infrastructure and organising utilities, waste management, car parking, amenities, open space, urban green cover and public spaces.
Better design of precinct-wide energy, water and waste systems will encourage a circular economy that improves efficiency. A circular economy means designing waste out of the system. For example, a food manufacturing plant could send waste to an adjacent anaerobic digester to power the plant.
A low-carbon District
More efficient use of energy and water in the District will reduce impacts on the environment and the District's greenhouse gas emissions. The Greater Sydney Commission has been seeking to better understand greenhouse gas emissions for each District across Greater Sydney and will continue to explore opportunities for planning initiatives to support the NSW Government's goal of achieving a pathway towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
Potential pathways towards net-zero emissions in the District include:
- new public transport infrastructure, electric vehicles, and autonomous vehicles to connect residents to their nearest strategic centre or metropolitan centre within 30 minutes
- a range of transport demand management initiatives, including working from home, improved walking and cycling, improved access to car sharing, carpooling and on-demand transport
- new building standards and retrofits so that energy, water and waste systems operate as efficiently as possible (for residential and non-residential buildings)
- building and precinct-scale renewable energy generation
- waste diversion from landfill.
The way Greater Sydney's urban structure and built form develop in the future can support NSW's transition towards net-zero emissions. Better integrating land use with transport planning will help slow emissions growth by locating new homes near public transport and high quality walkways and cycle paths.
Building on existing public transport connections with electric vehicle transport hubs, shared autonomous vehicles and other innovative transport technologies can further reduce greenhouse emissions, and reduce levels of noise and air pollution. Prioritising parking spaces for car sharing and car pooling can support more efficient use of road space and help reduce emissions. Emerging transport technologies will reduce the need for parking spaces and help reduce congestion.
Designing high-efficiency buildings and incorporating renewable energy generation will reduce emissions and reduce costs over time.
This means improving the energy and water efficiency of buildings, and reducing waste in urban renewal projects and infrastructure projects.
Recycling local water and harvesting storm-water creates opportunities for greening public open spaces including parks, ovals and school playgrounds. Recycling water diversifies the sources of water to meet demands for drinking, irrigating open spaces, keeping waterways clean and contributing to Greater Sydney's water quality objectives.
Recycling and reducing waste
There is diminishing capacity in existing landfill sites in Greater Sydney, with more waste being sent to landfill outside the region. This increases costs to the community. Additional sites for waste management in Greater Sydney would improve efficiencies in managing waste.
Waste is managed through a number of facilities in the North District. The District is one of the few in NSW with a facility capable of managing its own waste for the foreseeable future.
The Kimbriki Resource Recovery Facility, on the border of Ingleside and Terrey Hills, operates a dry landfill, a transfer station for household recyclables (as well as a composting facility for garden vegetation) and the processing of construction and demolition waste and other recovery and recycling activities. A number of transfer stations operate in the area, separating and transferring waste from the region to other landfills.
The planning and design of new developments should support the sustainable and effective collection and management of waste.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has a range of guidelines and other information to assist in the sustainable management of waste.
Treating separated organic waste and then processing it through an energy-from-waste facility, will reduce waste sent to landfill and can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In higher density neighbourhoods innovative precinct-based waste collection, re-use and recycling would improve efficiency, reduce truck movements and boost the recycling economy. Where possible, additional land should be identified for waste management, reprocessing, re-use and recycling.