Victoria Flats Landfill Upgrade Complete
A project by Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Scope Resources Ltd to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce odour at Victoria Flats Landfill is now complete.
The landfill gas capture and destruction system will capture landfill gas, preventing methane from entering the atmosphere, and is aligned with the key outcomes of QLDC’s Climate Action Plan.
The system was designed in anticipation of changes to Otago Regional Council (ORC)’s air discharge consent conditions issued in 2019, requiring landfill operations be aligned with National Environmental Standards for air quality.
QLDC General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby said the two-year project had been a highly technical operation and a massive undertaking for the team.
“The system was retrospectively installed into the existing landfill and is made up of a number of vertical wells, horizontal gas collectors and flares used to destroy the gas,” he said.
Mr Hansby added that further installation would be required as the landfill grows. However, he noted that landfill growth also has a direct effect on the amount paid by Council and therefore the community, to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
“As the amount of waste going into the landfill increases, so too does the number of emissions units we need to purchase. Additionally, over time the cost to purchase emissions units has also increased. These costs are recovered through waste service fees and charges.”
The ‘capture and destroy’ approach was taken instead of ‘capture and use’ as beneficial uses of the methane, such as electricity generation, are not expected until the landfill is much larger in size and able to generate more gas.
Mr Hansby said the most effective way to ensure emissions costs don’t continue to impact the community is to reduce the amount of material going to landfill.
“Our recent kerbside audit showed that organic waste made up 54.3% of the weight of all kerbside rubbish and was the largest single component of kerbside rubbish in wheelie bins. This was made up of 62% kitchen waste, 34% greenwaste and 4% other material such as vacuum cleaner dust, animal faeces, candles, fireplace ash, and human hair. When this waste breaks down in landfill it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas,” Mr Hansby said.
“Instead of throwing out your organic waste, why not use it to boost your soil and reduce your carbon footprint by composting. There are lots of options out there including a number of initiatives that we fund or subsidise such as Dr Compost workshops, Bokashi buckets, worm farms and lots more. There are even options for people who can’t have their own compost at home such as the Sharewaste app that connects people who want to recycle their organic waste with their neighbours who compost, have a worm farm or keep chickens.”
The $7.8M capital cost of the landfill gas capture and destruction project was funded by Scope Resources and repaid by QLDC over the remaining 14.5 year landfill contract term through an increased gate fee from 1 January 2020 for all waste deposited at the landfill.
Victoria Flats Landfill is located approximately 27km from Frankton, near Gibbston Valley. It is owned and operated by Scope Resources and accepts waste from both Queenstown Lakes District Council and Central Otago District Council. Last year, 49,443 tonnes of waste was accepted from both districts.