RATEPAYERS won’t have to fork out as much as expected to cover this financial year’s waste charges.
It follows a report on the Cairncross landfill site which indicates, based on trends and waste composition, landfill emissions will not go over the 25,000 tonne threshold until 2020 under the carbon price legislation.
Previous estimates put the site above the threshold on July 1.
The revised estimate means waste charges will now increase by $13 a tonne instead of a $23 a tonne rise.
The money raised by the $13 a tonne increase will go towards the installation of a landfill gas capture system at the Cairncross site north of Port Macquarie. Landfill gas capture systems extract landfill gas from the waste mass, which is processed by flaring or using it to generate electricity.
Advice shows if the gas capture system is constructed as soon as possible, it could mean the Cairncross site may not go over the landfill emissions threshold.
That would eliminate the need for the charge in the future and could provide the council with carbon credits.
Council’s development and environmental services director Matt Rogers said by implementing a two-year period where the council charges a $13 per tonne increase to waste service fees, it would generate funds to install the gas capture system and potentially save $30 million in carbon pricing payments over 30 years.
This financial year’s first rates notice will show the amended waste fees.
“While the numbers might seem a little complicated now, the bottom line is that the charge will be less this year than predicted but by retaining some increase we are able to achieve long term reductions to the cost of managing our landfill sites,” he said.