As the waste in landfills decompose methane gas is released. Methane is more effective at absorbing the sun's heat than carbon dioxide, making it one of the most potent greenhouse gases and a huge contributor to climate change.
Gas flare at Grafton Regional Landfill
Its environmentally better to flare methane than release it to the atmosphere. Burning of methane converts the gas to mostly carbon dioxide and water vapour.
In 2013 Council implemented a gas flare at Grafton Regional Landfill which has resulted in a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The chart below illustrates past and projected greenhouse gas emissions for the regional landfill.
Plans to further develop the gas flare into a gas engine are underway as part of the Grafton Regional Landfill Gas to Energy Project. The project will see the methane used to generate electricity which can be used elsewhere in council operations. Once completed the methane emissions will convert into around 1.2 megawatts of electricity each year. This project offers a unique double win as it directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill and produces electricity that can be used elsewhere.
Reducing what goes to landfill
Reducing the amount of material that goes into landfill is a powerful tool to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Clarence Valley Council has been leading the way in this area by the early adoption of the Yellow Mixed Recycling & Green Organics bins.
Find out what goes where here
Environmental Learning Facility
Through interactive displays, group workshops, activities and tours, and meeting room facilities, the Clarence Valley Environmental Learning Facility (ELF) aims to improve environmental awareness, with a major focus on sustainable lifestyle choices. It's particularly suited to schools but is also open to community groups and the general public.
Find out more about the Environmental Learning Facility