Not going to waste…
  • Wednesday 05 October 2016

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s introduction of a new innovative sustainable practice at three landfill facilities, greenhouse gas emissions in the past year have been reduced by a figure comparable to taking 11,000 vehicles off our roads.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said around 55,161 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) was abated in the 2015-2016 financial year through landfill gas flaring at council’s Nambour, Caloundra and Buderim landfills.

“The increase of landfill gas flaring by 52% at these landfills is the latest in a long list of projects aimed at achieving our vision to be the most sustainable region in Australia,” Cr McKay said.

“Landfill gas from waste is collected and combusted using a flare.

“The methane component of landfill gas is converted to carbon dioxide, which has a significantly lower global warming potential than methane.

“Council’s landfill gas contractors are also investigating options to use the gas to generate electricity.

“The significant environmental benefit of landfill gas management at our landfills is one of the key findings from council’s recently launched Organisational Sustainable Benchmarking Report 2015/2016.

“The first-of-its-kind report in Queensland provides an annual snapshot of the organisation’s greenhouse gas footprint and sustainability performance and is available for residents to view on council’s website.”

Equivalent examples* of the benefits of council’s landfill gas flaring in 2015/16: 

  • a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 11,652 passenger vehicles driven for one year;
  • a decrease in CO2 emissions from 5825 homes' energy use for one year;
  • a cut in carbon sequestered by 52,216 acres of forest in one year.

Cr McKay said there was more good news on the horizon for both the environment and residents’ wallets with the introduction of a container deposit refund scheme in Queensland.

“I am also delighted to advise council’s full support and encouragement of the Queensland Government’s plans to launch a Container Deposit Scheme throughout the state in 2018, including the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

“The scheme will be similar to those operating successfully in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

“The new scheme will allow residents to receive 10c refund for every empty eligible beverage container they return to a collection site.

“Eligible containers may be aluminium, steel, plastic, glass and liquid paperboard between 150ml and 3L.

“Council is looking forward to working with the Federal Government to bring this project to fruition.”