EPA Connect’s information marketplace with news of events, grants, community outreach and other EPA activities, including National Science Week.
Grants to increase recycling of solar panel and battery storage systems
Grants will help recycling of solar panels and batteries at end of life
The NSW Government is investing $10 million to divert solar panels at the end of their life away from landfill and into recycling
EPA Director Circular Economy Programs Kathy Giunta said the investment in recycling through the Circular Solar grants program would help NSW lead the way on this growing waste stream.
“While waste from solar panels is currently on the low side, now is the time to invest in developing systems for collecting and recycling these valuable resources which include scarce and rare metals, such as lithium,” Kathy said.
Applications for projects that trial whole of supply chain approaches to collecting and reusing and/or recycling closed in mid-September 2020, with a second round of grants expected early in 2021.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA clean-up grant provides jobs while restoring bush and waterways
A new clean-up plan to remove illegally dumped rubbish from bushland near the Nambucca River will employ eight residents and create a better environment for the local community and wildlife. The Bellwood community, on the NSW North Coast, will put their clean-up plan into action with the support of approximately $100,000 awarded from the EPA’s Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program.
The Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council will use some of the grant to remove dumped rubbish adjacent to the Nambucca River, which is home to waterbirds, sea turtles, oysters and dolphins.
- Find out more about the program
Celebrating our EPA scientists
The EPA joined forces with the Department of Planning Industry and Environment’s Science, Economics and Insights Division colleagues to celebrate National Science Week in August by profiling some of the extensive sleuthing and monitoring, undertaken by our highly motivated and experienced scientists and technical officers to help keep the community safe.
As well as going behind the scenes of our environmental forensics lab in western Sydney to find out how EPA scientists help identify unknown pollutants and understand the risks these pose to people and the environment (see video), EPA Connect profiled some of our scientists on LinkedIn – and here on News Round.
Meet Dr Jessica Wilks
Jessica Wilks shares her experience on the EPA grad program
Jessica Wilks holds a PhD in marine microbiology and is on the EPA’s graduate program, currently working on data sets, intelligence and engagement.
EPA Connect asked Jess a few questions:
What does the EPA grad program involve?
The program allows us to experience four different roles within the EPA, for six months each- it’s an excellent opportunity to see the EPA from many angles and to experience the range of work the EPA does. I’ve been with some interesting teams who have taught me a tremendous amount, including Water Technical Advice, Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods, and Data, Intelligence & Insight. I’m currently working with Stakeholder Engagement for my last rotation, and I look forward to learning about the more outward-facing work of the EPA.
Why the EPA?
The motivation for my research has primarily been environmental health, biodiversity and conservation, but I also approach everything I do with people in mind. To me, it seemed natural to move into the public sector, where I can apply my skills to serve NSW and the environment. Environmental regulation is where research translates into actual outcomes for people and the planet.
What inspires you outside of work?
I’m a scientist, weightlifter, martial artist and seamstress with a joy for learning and a keen passion for everything microscopic!
EPA officers on one of 600 inspections for Get the Site Right
Getting the site right
Dreaming of going for a dip in the Parramatta River on a hot day? The EPA has joined with many councils around the river and other waterways on the ‘Get the Site Right’ initiative to help keep waterways healthy for our communities and wildlife by checking that runoff isn’t leaving building sites. The EPA worked with councils in June for a blitz, visiting 600 sites across Sydney and the Central Coast to check that builders and renovators have appropriate controls in place to stop runoff from polluting local waterways. Almost three quarters (73%) of the sites inspected were compliant. This is an improvement compared to the May 2019 campaign where only 63% of sites inspected were managing their sites adequately.
Where did recycling paper really begin?
Recycled paper appeared in Japan in the 9th century!
The first recorded use of recycled paper was in ninth century Japan. The Japanese began recycling paper almost as soon as they learned how to make it and recycling became a highly valued part of paper production and use, often for paintings.
- 13 LGNSW Environment Awards – The EPA is a sponsor and is sponsoring the Behaviour Change in Waste award category. The EPA CEO will be presenting at this virtual event
- 16 World Food Day – celebrate by visiting the EPA’s Love Food Hate Waste for top tips on storing food and avoiding food waste.
- 19 National water week (19 – 25 October) – testing water quality is one of our EPA’s scientists’ top tasks.
- 9-15 National Recycling Week – The EPA has several recycling programs – find out more in our article on Community Recycling Centres or visit our website
- 23 Local Government NSW Conference – this online conference is attended by all the key areas of local government and the EPA will be there.
- 25-26 Australian Waste and Recycling Expo –– The EPA is a proud partner for this Expo which will feature the latest ideas and technology for waste management and recycling.
Past event: Plastic-free July engaged the community and many EPA staff too. Watch this short video on Gillian Graham-Crowe's tips for going plastic free.