Landfills, a chance for local governments to make money under a carbon price
The forum, on the carbon price and council landfills, was hosted by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) in partnership with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus addressed the forum and urged councils to do their own sums and not take at face value potentially misleading claims about high carbon price impacts.
Mr Dreyfus said some councils appeared to be significantly overestimating the impact of the carbon price on landfill, when the vast majority of landfill sites would not be subject to a carbon price at all.
He said only larger landfill facilities, with emissions over 25,000 tonnes a year, were liable to pay the carbon price, and only on waste disposed after July 1, 2012.
Emissions can be cut by up to 75 per cent using gas capture technology, which will help some landfills drop back below the 25,000 tonne threshold.
Landfill gas can be used to create electricity to power council or other nearby buildings.
“There is opportunity to make money under the carbon price scheme,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“A carbon credit can be earned for every tonne of pollution cut or avoided from landfill, and these can be sold on carbon markets generating extra income for councils or landfill operators.”
Councils should also be aware that they can apply for an energy efficiency grant to help council and community buildings save energy and thousands of dollars through more efficient heating, cooling and lighting, under the Government’s Low Carbon Communities program.
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is partnering with ALGA and the Clean Energy Regulator to run a series of support sessions.
These will include face to face forums and webinars, which will assist councils in working through the necessary steps to factor the carbon price and carbon credit opportunities into their waste disposal services.