Noosa's garbage gas could become a power source
NOOSA is full of gas - so much so that its landfill site could eventually be producing electricity from its piles of rubbish.
Noosa councillors are about to sign off on a new "third bin" garden waste service and policy and were told of record levels of methane capture at its Eumundi Noosa Rd waste centre.
"One of the reasons we are doing this is to reduce the organic loading in the landfill to save landfill space," Council waste manager Wayne Schafer said during council discussions.
Mr Schafer said reducing methane is "incredibly important in this day and age.
Should using landfill methane for biofuel be a higher priority for councils?
This poll ended on 25 April 2017.
Yes, it's a great way to make something of landfill.
It's a good idea, but reducing green waste in landfill will make it pointless.
No, council should be focusing its efforts elsewhere.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"We've just had our new figures come through for gas capture at the landfill and in February the figures were quite high, but they've even gone higher in March.
"We up to around 330,000 cubic metres per month and for a council of our size that's an incredible capture rate.
"I would suspect we are looking very closely now at generating electricity."
Mayor Tony Wellington said there were obvious benefits environmentally in this approach to waste reduction and recovery.
"But there is also a significant savings cost to residents in to the future by reducing the impact on our landfill.
"It's very hard to quantify, although their waste fee is going to go up minimally in order to cater for this third bin, it is actually a long-term savings for the community in terms of landfill costs."
Cr Frank Pardon said this situation was a kind of Catch 22 for council.
He said by taking more gas out of landfill the council will be able to "get that power going", but we're taking it (landfill levels) out.
Cr Pardon said the council had improved its methane capping methods so the gas was not escaping and the council can capture more.
Mr Schafer said Noosa has "maximised its site coverage by going higher rather than spreading out and consuming land.
"By going higher it makes the capture of methane more efficient," he said.
Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said the council has rewarded the almost 5000 residents who already have the green waste bins by reducing the service cost from $65 a year to $50 a year.
"It's 96 cents a week ... for 96 cents a week to get a highly cost efficient service it's phenomenal value for money," he said.
Mr Schafer said there is no way you could drive to the landfill for that sort of cost to dump your green waste.
The cost of proving 9000 green waste bins in Noosa is about $450,000 with $650,000 already provided for in the 2016/17 council budget.
Mr Schafer said landfill is the largest greenhouse gas generator for council.