Council reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 1000s of tonnes

A greenhouse gas reduction program run by Hawkesbury City Council has successfully yielded a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility in South Windsor.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction ProgramIn 2013, Council committed to installing a Landfill Gas Flare to capture greenhouse gases created at the landfill site of the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility, and in its first year of operation, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 6,000 tonnes.

While carbon in the soil is a good thing as it makes the land more productive, rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are problematic as they can lead to a warmer, more unstable climate, putting Australian agriculture and food production at risk.

By installing more gas extraction wells at the Waste Management Facility from an initial 11 gas extraction wells to 30 wells across the landfill area, there has been a 266% increase in greenhouse gas capture and abatement. As a result, 15,967 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions were extracted and abated by the gas wells in 2017.

The system expansion has been funded through the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative*. This funding is helping Council to enhance its emissions reduction program at no cost to residents, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett said.

”This initiative demonstrates the Hawkesbury’s commitment to the environment,” the Mayor said.

“It’s an exciting program because it has reduced carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of taking 6,700 cars off the road.

“There has been a reduction of close to 16 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from the Waste Management Facility in the 2017 calendar year,” Councillor Lyons-Buckett said.

“This puts the Hawkesbury in a leading position to continue the push for the reduction and prevention of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change mitigation measures such as this, and reductions in our carbon footprint, will benefit our community and future generations to come.”

Since commissioning the program in the 2013/2014 financial year, Council has recorded a reduction of over 31,500 tonnes of carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.

Additional gas extraction wells are planned to be installed in future as landfill cell areas are completed, and they are expected to continue to provide positive environmental outcomes for the Hawkesbury.

*To find out more about the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative mentioned above, visit http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/emissions-reduction-fund/cfi/about

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