Council won't pay carbon tax
TWEED Shire Council will not have to pay the new carbon tax for emissions created by the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre and will not be listed as a "liable entity" under recently introduced Federal Clean Energy Legislation.
The cost saving is a consequence of the council's methane gas capture program which traps landfill gas produced by rotting vegetative matter buried in the waste site and uses it to generate electricity through an onsite mini power station.
The council's gas contractor puts the electricity generated into the grid resulting in further cost reductions for the council.
For every tonne of household waste collected at the garbage depot, about one tonne of carbon is generated which, if released into the atmosphere, would attract carbon tax charges.
However, the council's methane gas capture program reduces carbon emissions to a level where the new carbon tax is not triggered.
The captured methane gas generates around 3,000 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power 400 homes.
Council started its emissions reduction program in 2002 when it installed a methane gas extraction system at its waste depot.
In 2006 council installed a micro power station and started to generate electricity from the around 50,000 tonnes of waste collected at the depot each year.
Council's effort to capture the methane gas at the Stotts Creek facility avoids CO2 emissions to the tune of 12,900 tonnes annually, the equivalent to taking almost 4,000 cars off the roads for one year.
Residents can help reduce methane gas emissions by composting food and garden waste and can further assist by ordering a green waste bin from Council and turn garden prunings and other vegetative matter into mulch.
Tweed Shire Council mayor Barry Longland said the Stotts Creek facility saved the council estimated costs in the order of many hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Council was not liable to pay the carbon pricing mechanism for any of its other activities, Cr Longland said.