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Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks

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Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks and Sustainability


Sydney Harbour YHA is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and being a responsible community member through a mix of heritage conservation and environmental sustainable 

practices and services. Initiatives include:

Energy/Greenhouse gas reduction:

  • 30KW Photovoltaic system installed on roof of hostel and Education centre in 2016 (partly funded by the YHA Sustainability Fund)
  • Solar hot water panels 
  • Gas powered generator. 
  • Restricted air-conditioning (AC) controlled by reed switches on windows and temperature setting by staff. 
  • Key-card operated power saving devices in all bedrooms controlling lights and AC. 
  • Motion and sensor controlled lighting. 
  • Low energy light bulbs used throughout property plus abundant natural lighting. 
  • Bike storage and active promotion of public transport options - we have no car parking. 

As a result of this properties energy saving measures, guests at Sydney Harbour YHA use approximately 27% less electricity and 44% less gas per night than those at YHAs other Sydney CBD properties.


Waste Minimisation:

  • Each room has dual bins for recycling and other waste. 
  • Recycling, organic waste and general rubbish bins in guest kitchen. 
  • Recycling of paper, glass, plastic, aluminium, batteries, light bulbs, toner cartridges and clothes (donated to charities). 
  • Swap shelves for guests to leave things they don’t want. Free food shelves in kitchen. 
  • Biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Sale of refillable water bottles- we don’t sell bottled water. 

Water Saving measures:

  • 40,000 litre rain water tank used to flush toilets. 
  • 40,000 litre storm water detention tank. 
  • All taps are 5-star WELS and showers are 3-star WELS rated. 
  • Dual flush 3L/4.5L toilets, waterless urinals, front loader washing machines. 
  • Signage encouraging guests to take shorter showers, turn off taps while brushing teeth, report leaks etc. 

As a result of this properties water saving measures, guests at Sydney Harbour YHA use approximately 54% less water per night than those at YHAs other Sydney CBD properties.


Indoor Environmental Quality measures:

  • Careful selection of environmentally accredited materials such as low formaldehyde laminex, recycled rubber flooring, natural wool carpet, pinboards made from 100% recycled PET, and rubbish bins from recyclable plastic. 
  • Building design with open walkways and central voids for natural light and ventilation. 
  • Operable windows with shade louvers that slide across the windows allow for natural ventilation and shading without energy use. 
  • Smoking only permitted on roof terrace and education centre balcony. 

Social Sustainability:

  • The Big Dig Archaeology Education centre providing school children the opportunity to learn about the archaeology of The Big Dig site and Sydney’s history 
  • Heritage interpretation of The Big Dig site, Australia’s largest urban archaeology area 
  • Sinking fund generated from a percentage of each guests overnight fee to provide for the ongoing conservation, interpretation and education of The Big Dig site. 
  • Donations to The Smith family funded by guest contributions 
  • Regular hostel activities to encourage guest interaction 
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