Council moves to cut stink from tip, picks up $150k windfall

AN INITIATIVE to reduce odour at the Myocum Landfill is now earning Byron Council carbon credits that could be worth $150,000 based on current carbon pricing.

Landfill gas is created when organic waste such as food scraps and garden waste break down. The Myocum gas management system extracts the gas via a network of sumps and pipelines. The captured gas is then flared and converts the methane to carbon dioxide, which is more than 20 times less damaging to the environment.

The system was recently recognised as a Registered Offsets Project under the Federal Government's Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).

Byron is only the second council in Australia, and the first in NSW, to have a gas extraction and flaring project approved under the CFI scheme.

Council's environmental programs officer, Lloyd Isaacson said it was a good outcome and they have now got a State Government grant to expand the system.

"We were getting a lot of odour complaints back in 2011 and it was really a reaction to that... but we also saw it was an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gasses and generate carbon credits," he said.

Mr Isaacson said they had looked at the possibility of converting the gas to electricity that could be used by Council, but the project was too small and not viable.

He said they had to go through an extensive process to comply with the requirement of the CFI scheme.

Once accredited, it is up to the operator to determine how regularly they report to obtain their carbon credits and Byron has just received their credits for the period June 2011 to April 2013, which is valued at around $150,000.

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