Going green never smelt so good

IT'S described as a first for the Mid North Coast, and it should come on line by mid 2009.

Landfill gas at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park will be captured and could be used to help run one of the waste management plants at the Englands Road facility.

A Coffs Harbour City Council meeting on Thursday resolved to enter into a 10-year contract and lease agreement with AGL Energy Sales and Marketing Ltd for the company to build and operate a landfill gas extraction system at the park. The council has set aside $500,000 for the project over two financial years.

“The whole focus of the new waste management facilities that council and its partners are creating at the . . . Park is all about reuse and recycling,” the mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said.

“By capturing this gas, we will cut down on odours - which will be welcomed by the site's neighbours. We will also cut the amount of harmful CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere from the landfill by possibly as much as the equivalent of 17,000 tonnes per annum.

“The waste management plant that is operated by Biomass Solutions uses bottled gas, a fossil fuel, to heat the steam needed for its processing operations. Negotiations are in train to use landfill gas instead, which would mean further environmental savings.”

Landfill gas typically comprises about 55 per cent methane, about 40 per cent carbon dioxide, and other gases including water vapour, nitrogen, non-methane organic gases and odorous sulfides. “The odorous gases give the landfill gas its characteristic 'rotting' smell,” council's environmental services manager Jeff Green said.

“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, one tonne of which is equivalent to 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Without an extraction system, these gases escape from the landfill causing odours, safety risks and greenhouse emissions.

“By flaring off captured gas and hopefully using it as an energy source, we will be mitigating all these issues.”

Mr Green said the project had the potential to generate significant income as part of the Federal Government's greenhouse friendly program and through the NSW greenhouse abatement certificates scheme. A final design for the facility will be ready by February, with construction starting in April and due to finish in July.

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