Sydney to Green its NYE Pyrotechnic Extravaganza


Pic courtesy of City of Sydney

Sydney claims the largest and most technologically advanced annual fireworks display on the planet, attracting more than one million people to the harbour foreshore, more than turn out for the fireworks in New York, London, Paris or Berlin.

And the stats (PDF) are impressive. 11,000 shells, 10,000 shooting comets, with a total of 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects, and 112 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself. Plus seven barges and eight city rooftops. It requires 15 months of planning, a crew of 40 and 14 x 20 foot shipping containers to haul around the stuff that’s needed. Like the 60,000 metres of wires and cables required to interface with the 12 computers to launch the display.

So, as you can imagine for a City Council, proud to present Earth Hour, where 2 million Sydneysiders, and 2,200 Sydney businesses symbolically turned off their lights for one hour, and reclaim the streets for pedestrians and cyclists, such an event presents as a double edged sword. People love it, but the environment really could do without it. A bit of a Public Relations conundrum really. The answer? (after the fold ... )Well, partial ones include buying GreenPower to run the bridge display (25,000kw of green power from set up to dismantle), as well as the other event electricity. Apparently saving 60 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Recovering and recycling 80% of the events rubbish. Using rainwater for the ‘morning after’ street cleaning. Distributing personal butt bins to reduce cigarette littering. Provide a list of green New Years resolutions. It’s a start. Maybe this is one area where carbon offsets do make sense. City of Sydney, via Green Razor

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