Birkdale gas extraction a local energy boost

Redlands Coast received an energy boost this week, with an extension to a project extracting power from old waste going live.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Stage 2 of the Birkdale Landfill Gas extraction project included gas wells being drilled on the western side of the Birkdale Landfill to capture methane for electricity generation.

“This project is a great partnership between Redland City Council and energy providers LMS Energy that essentially uses our old waste as power,” Cr Williams said.

“The commercial arrangement between Council and our landfill-gas-to-electricity partner brings financial benefits to Redlands Coast, but more importantly there are significant environmental benefits to this collaboration.

“We have been capturing gas at part of the Birkdale Transfer Station since 2004 and this latest project now extends the gas capture to the entire landfill site, providing enough methane to power around 1150 Redlands Coast households.

“The captured methane is equivalent to removing the greenhouse gas production of approximately 6000 cars operating on our roads each year.

“Methane caused by decomposing waste is ozone-damaging, very flammable and a toxic gas. So this extraction project sees a potentially negative legacy of a landfill becoming a valuable resource.

“Projections show site methane extraction may be viable for about 20 years, so the infrastructure we are putting in place today has long-lasting, positive repercussions for all of Redlands Coast.”

Councillor for Division 8 Tracey Huges said successful commissioning of Stage 2 was the latest achievement in ongoing efforts to manage the closed landfill site.

“Birkdale Landfill was our city’s main disposal point from 1993 to 2011, beginning on the site of a disused quarry and accepting around a million tonnes of waste during its years of operation,” Cr Huges said.

“Since the landfill closed in 2011, Council’s focus has turned to planned remediation to ensure the best possible environmental outcomes for the site and surrounding areas.

“In 2015, Council began a multi-million dollar rehabilitation project, with works including capping and re-vegetating the landfill to better capture gases, reduce water ingress and improve storm water quality.

“Gas extraction is a win/win for the site and for Redlands Coast, giving us a productive way to manage the gases successfully being captured by the landfill cap.”