Turning methane gas into electricity at the Green Island
landfill has helped the Dunedin City Council slash its carbon
footprint in half.
Figures released by the council yesterday showed its carbon
emissions had been cut by an estimated 56% in two years, from
71,231 tonnes a year to about 31,000 tonnes a year.
Council finance and resources general manager Athol Stephens
said in a statement the landfill's methane-capturing project
was the ''major'' contributor to the result, alongside
efforts to cut electricity and LPG use.
Under the landfill initiative, methane gas generated by the
landfill's contents was captured and used to generate
electricity, rather than being allowed to escape into the
However, other initiatives were also being considered to
further reduce the council's carbon footprint, he said.
That could include reducing the council's use of diesel fuel
and cutting back on flights taken by council staff. Dunedin
Mayor Dave Cull said reducing non-renewable energy use was
the key to addressing climate change, and public bodies had a
responsibility to lead the way.
The initiatives would also help ensure Dunedin moved towards
achieving ''energy resilience'', he said.
The council was among the first in New Zealand to measure its
carbon footprint and, in October, received independent
verification - from carboNZero Holdings Ltd - its emissions
had been measured correctly.
''This has provided an important line in the sand by which we
can measure improvements in the future,'' Mr Stephens said.