The Environmental Management Plan describes specific environmental objectives over the five-year period from 2007. Environmental issues addressed within the Plan include sustainable management of geological and geomorphologic features, soil conservation, rivers and catchments, flora, fauna, fire, indigenous and post-settlement cultural heritage, waste, energy efficiency, air quality, visual and noise amenity, visitor capacity and community awareness and engagement. The ARMB environmental team reviews progress against the Plan several times each year.
The Mount Buller alpine resort is home to a population of Australia's iconic alpine possum - the endangered Mountain Pygmypossum (Burramys parvus). Habitat degradation and fragmentation, predation and climate change threaten its existence across the Australian Alps. When serious declines in Pygmy-possum numbers were observed between 2001 and 2003, the ARMB, in partnership with BSL and the DSE, developed a five-year Recovery Plan to protect the species and its habitat. The Recovery Plan is now being reviewed and updated to direct conservation actions for a further 5 years. It will be a guide for the continued management of the species, learning from and building on the previous plan's positive outcomes. Annual monitoring of the population continues with better than expected results.
Mt Buller is the first alpine resort in the world to implement a system that enables it to use recycled water for snowmaking. The $3.43 million Water Reuse project is a great achievement for the resort and evidence of Mt Buller's commitment to the longevity of the snow season. The Water Reuse system enables Mt Buller to recycle up to 2 million litres of waste water per day, by treating waste water with a stringent disinfection process that results in the production of Class A recycled water. Class A is the highest achievable standard in recycled water. The treatment of Mt Buller's recycled water benefits the local environment by improving the quality of run-off that enters surrounding areas and water ways, and is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that it produces a safe and consistent quality of water.
The Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board was recognized for this innovation by the United Nations Association of Australia at the World Environment Day awards. T
During winter 2010, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management introduced a trial organics management system as part of the Victorian Government's ‘Towards Zero Waste' strategy. Run in conjunction with fellow alpine resorts Falls Creek, Hotham and Dinner Plain, waste contractor 4Site Australia and the North East Victoria Regional Waste Management Group (NevRwaste), 4Site Australia, the system sees on-mountain operators separating out organic waste (fruit, vegetables and even meat) which is collected and recycled into compost at a facility in Wodonga.
Since Mt Buller implemented the system in 2010, the Resort has seen over 80 tonnes of organic waste removed and turned into compost instead of going to landfill. The introduction of the organics management system has enabled Mt Buller to increase its total recycling rate to 41%, an increase from 33% in the year prior to the trial and the highest of any other alpine resort in Victoria. This figure also exceeds the target set by the North East Regional Waste Management Plan, which is to recycle 37% of all waste by 2014.
The introduction of the system has not only seen a reduction in waste, but has resulted in an overall improvement in the waste management practices of on-mountain operators and guests, with higher recycling rates in other areas also being recorded. The Living Bin project has won two awards - a Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Award in 2011 and the State Government Award in the Premier's Sustainability Awards in 2012.
For further information on environmental campaigns, please click here to visit the Environment section of the Mt Buller website.