22 April, 2024
 Earth Day


Monday 22 April 2024 is Earth Day. This year’s theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics and rapidly phase out all single use plastics.

While Earth Day’s aim is to build a plastic-free planet for generations to come, there is a parallel need to recycle and manage the enormous plastic waste that exists today.

For several years now, we have been building roads in Googong that are made from an asphalt mix of soft plastics, glass, toner and reclaimed road. As a first for the ACT and region, the recycled road product, known as Reconophalt, is being rolled out across suburban streets, carparks and even sporting facilities.

A kilometre of road (two lanes) paved with Reconophalt can contain 500,000 plastic bags and packaging equivalents, 165,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,000 used printer cartridges.

In addition to the environmental benefits from the recycled asphalt, there is a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue for longer life pavements when compared to standard asphalt.

Googong Project Director Malcolm Leslie says one of Googong’s key focuses is on developing a sustainable environment for the community.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our vision for Googong, which has delivered a range of social, environmental and ecological initiatives for the community. This recycled road surface product is a great example of this vision and we’re pleased to have been the first community in the region to implement this technology, said Mr Leslie.

“Googong continues to be at the forefront of sustainable design by incorporating new and innovative techniques across a range of areas to benefit our residents. It’s this long-term approach to building communities in an environmentally responsible way that has been a foundation for the masterplanning of the township.”

Googong has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, with the community notably awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s first 5-Star Green Star – Communities rating in 2016 a rating that was reaccredited in 2020 and confirmed and extended to 2026 in recognition of the deliverables achieved since the original certification. The Green Star – Communities rating is recognised nationally and creates an Australia-wide standard of excellence for sustainable development. Googong is lauded for its excellence across a number of areas covering sustainable planning, design and construction. In 2019 Googong won the prestigious UDIA NSW Award for Best Masterplanned Communities recognising the teams long-term vision of building a sustainable community, which, in addition to our recycled road product, has included:

  • An Integrated Water Cycle system that reduces potable water consumption by up to 60 per cent. This means its eventual 18,000 residents will use less water than would traditionally sustain 6,500 people in an average Australian community.

  • Alongside government and environmentalists, we have heavily invested in the protection of local flora and fauna with a $1 million program to save the vulnerable pink-tailed worm lizard which also calls Googong home.

  • We’ve incorporated state-of-the-art Smart Cities technologies such as digital-enabled waste and facilities management systems, infrastructure for electric cars, public Wi-Fi, lighting and environmental monitoring systems to reduce the town’s carbon footprint and overhead costs, and more.

  • The towns design guidelines that exceed required BASIX sustainability standards, maximised lot orientation for solar passive design, and introduced measures to mitigate the impacts of Heat Island Effect in the neighbourhood.

  • 24% of Googong is dedicated to open space.

  • A full-time community manager fosters community connections and environmental education programs.

With over 7,500 people currently living in Googong and a projected population of 18,000 at completion, our team have been committed to driving innovation in sustainable town planning for more than a decade, and we will continue to challenge ourselves into the future.


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