The innovative recycling project by ESS Support Services Worldwide and Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation subsidiary Ash Oil was recognised by the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum for using cooking oil as a biodiesel fuel.
The program recycles some 200,000 litres per year of cooking oil in the state, reducing carbon emissions by 500 tonnes.
It represents the equivalent of taking 100 cars permanently off the road.
WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the project also used waste products form producing biofuel to develop other products such as dust suppressant, which had the potential to save large amounts of water.
“The gecko is a great symbol of environmental performance,” Marmion said.
“It is among the last species to return to an area after a land disturbance such as mining and their presence indicates a return to a healthy functioning ecosystem.”
The awards event, to be held today at the Pan Pacific hotel in Perth, will also recognise Franmarine Underwater Services and the Department of Fisheries with a “certificate of merit” for a system to trial the in-water eradication of marine bio-fouling of big marine vessels.
“The system promotes a preventative risk-management approach to biosecurity and a clean-hull operating policy for WA and Australian waters,” Marmion said.
“This project and technology shows great innovation, exists outside and above of industry standards and sets a precedent for in-water hull cleaning.”
The other three finalists for this year’s award were Newmont Mining with Central Desert Native Title Services and Biota Environmental Sciences; Rio Tinto Iron Ore; and Rio Tinto Iron Ore with Sinclair Knight Merz.
DMP environment division executive director Phil Gorey said all five nominees demonstrated a commitment to WA’s unique environment.
“To receive a Golden Gecko award, nominees must excel across four criteria,” Gorey said.
“These are a commitment to environmental excellence, achieving excellent environmental outcomes, community engagement and what makes the project special.”
Since the inception of the awards in 1992, the WA government has recognised 54 award and 45 certificate of merit recipients.