Council’s carbon footprint set to drop a size

Hutt City Council is set to reduce its carbon footprint with the installation of a flare that will cut methane emissions at its Silverstream Landfill.

The flare will burn off methane, created by the breakdown of organic waste, before it reaches the atmosphere. It will also significantly reduce council’s liability under the Emissions Trading Scheme, as well as reducing unpleasant odours drifting off-site.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is significantly more potent than carbon dioxide at absorbing heat.

Over the last few years, the landfill has emitted around 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gases per year, accounting for the majority of council’s greenhouse gas emissions.

A resource consent for the flare was issued by Greater Wellington Regional Council last week and the flare has been installed and is ready to go.

A power plant at the landfill, owned by LMS Energy Ltd, already collects and uses large amounts of methane to generate electricity. The flare will augment the power plant’s processing of methane and maintain methane destruction when the power plant is shut down for maintenance.

Council’s Chair of its Climate Change and Sustainability Committee Josh Briggs says the new flare is a significant step towards achieving council’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

“Our council is acutely aware of the urgency needed to cut emissions if we’re to truly confront climate change and ensure we have a thriving city for future generations.”

“This initiative is one of many areas we’re taking action on to reach our goal of cutting Council’s emissions to zero, and it also makes a modest contribution to reducing the wider city’s emissions,” he says.

Council is already working through a strategy to reduce emissions from energy use at its facilities by 30 per cent by 2024, electrifying its vehicle fleet and working towards using the Greenstar building rating for new commercial buildings, including the Naenae Pool rebuild.

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