Blue Mountains City Council has a long history of embedding sustainability into our operations and practices, and helping to protect the planet.

This includes:

Click to see our journey to grow Planetary Health

Planetary Health and Sustainability is at the heart of our Community Vision for the City of the Blue Mountains

It began in 2000 with the Community Visioning Project – Blue Mountains Our Future. Between 2000 and 2003, over 6,000 people from the Blue Mountains community shaped the ‘community-owned and Council-led’ City Vision and Map for Action 2000–2025: Towards a More Sustainable Blue Mountains.

The Map for Action was further updated in 2007 and in 2010 to meet NSW Integrated Planning and Reporting requirements.

Blue Mountains Sustainability Model

The Blue Mountains Sustainability Model, developed by Council in the early 2000s, recognises the inherent connections between the quality of life of people and all other life on the planet.  Download the model

 

Image: Blue Mountains Sustainability Model (2003)

 

Blue Mountains Community Strategic Plan

The Blue Mountains Community Strategic Plan 2035 is our highest level long-term plan for our City.

It presents the objectives and strategies we need to achieve in order to actualise our vision to be a more sustainable and successful Blue Mountains by 2035, environmentally, socially and economically.

Planetary Health and Sustainability continue to sit at the heart of this plan for our City.

 

How is Council growing Planetary Health?

Investigating the Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative

We are establishing the Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative (PHI) with partners, for the benefit of our community, and the benefit of the global community.

At this critical moment in history, we embrace our responsibility to Think Local. Act Global to not only ensure the environmental, social and economic sustainability of our community at a local level, but to also contribute to the overall health of the planet.

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A Carbon Neutral Organisation

In 2016 Blue Mountains City Council endorsed its Carbon Abatement Action Plan (CAAP) with a target of achieving net zero emissions by 2025. 

In 2020, Council completed two major carbon emissions reductions projects as part of the CAAP:

  • The upgrade of 36% of Blue Mountains streetlights to LEDs, and
  • The installation of 289kW of solar panels on five large Council sites. 

These projects are on track to deliver $225,000 of combined energy savings and reduce carbon emissions by 1,080 tonnes of CO2e annually – successfully outperforming original estimates. 

The single most important thing we can do to stop climate change is reduce emissions. Read more about Council's ongoing action against climate change.

Managing our waste

After two years of research and extensive consultation with the local community, Council introduced its standard household waste service. This is in line with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) recommended best practice waste service.

In 2019, Blue Mountains City Council conducted a City-wide household garbage, recycling and green waste bin audit. The report found that: 

  • Waste diversion continues to increase, currently sitting at over 50%, that is, the community recycles more than it puts into landfill, and
  • The total generation (garbage, recycling, green) per household continues to decrease.

To reduce the amount of household waste going to landfill even further, Council has spearheaded a number community initiatives such as our Compost Hub, food waste and recycling workshops, our A-Z of recycling and Hazardous Waste: Together We've Got It Sorted.

Comprehensive information on Council's waste management strategies can be found in our Waste Avoidance and Recovery Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021.

Arts and Culture 

As we celebrated the 20th anniversary of being a City within a World Heritage Area in 2020, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre launched critical mass: the art of planetary health exhibition.

The exhibition was a visual exploration of how people relate to our environment and how we have lived then and now, inclusive of food, energy, and resource sharing. It was led by a partnership between Council, Western Sydney University and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute with the aim of leading conversations about the emerging science of Planetary Health. 

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