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What We Can Do - Improving Air Quality

Improving Air Quality

There are a variety of sources of air pollution which have an impact on local air quality in the City of Rockdale. Everyone can help to improve the air we breathe, simply by implementing some or all of the following tips.

Getting around

  • Keep your car well-serviced and tyres properly inflated
    This reduces exhaust emissions, increases fuel efficiency and saves you money.
  • Only fill the petrol tank to the first click
    This avoids spillage and reduces the release of petrol fumes into the air.
  • Switch to unleaded petrol
    This reduces atmospheric lead levels. Unleaded petrol can be used in some pre-1986 vehicles. Check with the manufacturer.
  • Drive smoothly
    Avoiding excessive acceleration and braking reduces exhaust emissions and helps save money on petrol.
  • Combine your car trips
    Cold engines produce much more emissions than if the car is already warm, so combining all of your errands into a longer journey reduces the level of emissions produced.
  • Carpool with friends or co-workers
    This reduces the number of vehicles on the road and emissions. It also helps save money by sharing petrol and toll expenses.
  • Walk or cycle
    This is a cheap, healthy alternative for short trips.
  • Catch public transport
    By catching the bus, train or ferry once a week you can reduce your contribution to weekday air pollution by up to 20 per cent.

Map On the Go
(Cycling, Walking and Public Transport in the City of Rockdale, All in One Map)

In your home

Wood heaters and fireplaces are a major source of air pollution. They generate a lot of greenhouse gas through methane production and, when they are burning incorrectly, produce smoke, soot, odours and a range of toxic compounds.

Gas heating and reverse-cycle air-conditioners are a better heating alternative because they don't produce smoke and they emit less greenhouse gases per unit of heat.

However, if you do have a wood heater there are several things you can do to reduce smoke:

  • Burn dry, seasoned, untreated wood.
  • Never burn treated or painted timbers or household rubbish.
  • Stack wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area.
  • Start the fire with small logs or firelighters. Once well-established, larger pieces of wood can be added gradually.
  • Check that your wood heater displays a plate saying it complies with the Australian Standard for pollution emissions (AS4013:1999).
  • Don't let it smoulder overnight.

In Your Backyard

  • Petrol driven lawn mowers are a source of airborne pollutants. If you own a two-stroke or four-stroke lawn mower ensure that it is serviced and do not over-rev the engine.
  • Natural gas and LPG barbecues are better than wood and coal fired barbecues because they are less polluting.
  • Backyard burning is prohibited because it pollutes the air and often causes a nuisance to neighbours. Recycling and composting where possible is an alternative to backyard burning.
  • Plant more trees and shrubs because they help absorb and filter air pollutants

Read our Air Quality Fact Sheet.

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