Council gives timber a new use
A SEARCH for more sustainable ways of working by Coffs Harbour City Council has led to a change in systems when it comes to the re-use of trees from public land.
Previously Council turned these trees, including hardwoods, into mulch for use in the area's playgrounds, parks, roundabouts and reserves.
Not any more.
Suitable timber is now being milled instead which means Council is managing to turn timber into cash.
The sawn timber created from milling can then be used for picnic shelters, boardwalks and other projects - so saving money and possibly creating an income that can go back into the ratepayers' purse.
So far around $17,000 worth of timber for Council projects has been produced.
Timber not suitable for Council use, such as Camphor Laurel, Rose Gum and Silky Oak, is being donated to local high schools for their woodwork projects.
A total timber supply of 13.5 cubic meters has been milled in this first stage of the scheme.
"Coffs Harbour began its life as a trading port for cedar, which was so lucrative it was known as 'red gold', so it's quite fitting that we're now turning what was going to be mulch into a cash saving," Council's manager of land use planning Clyde Treadwell said.
Mr Treadwell is also a member of the S-Team - a voluntary internal working party that helps promote sustainability in Council's workplace and its services.
"The idea was the brainchild of Tony Hely and Wayne Lindsay, other members of the S-Team," he said.
"What's great about it is it ticks so many boxes - it saves ratepayers' money, it reuses a valuable resource and it will benefit the community - through the high schools - directly.
"It's a win, win, win situation."