Carbon price 2011: which waste facilities will be covered?

17 Aug 2011Archived News Climate Change Matters

Landfill facilities will not be liable for emissions that arise from waste deposited prior to 1 July 2012, however legacy waste emissions will be included in the calculation of the facility’s threshold.

Landfills and other waste related facilities such as incinerators will be subject to a carbon price where:

  • The facility emits more than 25,000 tCO2-e; or
  • The facility emits more than 10,000 tCO2-e and is located within a certain distance (expected to be 80-100km) of large landfill facilities that trip the 25kt CO2-e threshold. This is aimed at avoiding waste displacement from covered to non-covered landfill facilities.

The methodologies (Methods 1 – 3) for calculating waste emissions will follow those described in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Measurement Determination (2008) and cover municipal, commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition waste streams.

How does this impact your waste disposal costs?

The carbon price will be fixed for the first three years of the scheme and will start at a value of $23/t.

Example: A large commercial organisation generating 789 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste and 230 tonnes of municipal solid waste, would face a cost increase of approximately $26k ($25/t waste) in the first year (assuming full price pass through and National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) factors July 2011).
Based on a current disposal cost of $100/t waste, this equates to approximately a 20% increase.

So what does this mean for you and what strategies should you pursue?

  • Landfills will pass on the increased cost of waste disposal to the consumer.
    • In WA, the current cost of waste to landfill is roughly $100/tonne of waste. This is expected to rise by 20-30% with the introduction of the carbon price:
    • All businesses should seriously consider recycling initiatives!
    • Develop strategies for reduce, recycle and reuse - you pay by volume.
  • Partnering with neighbouring industrial facilities for waste minimisation.
    • Facilities need to think strategically about the potential reuse of industrial waste – share waste streams, develop integrated waste management strategies.
  • Consider alternative and innovative uses for your waste.
    • Waste to energy projects – anaerobic digestion of your waste produces methane which can be captured for energy purposes.
    • Landfill / biomass power stations will be zero rated in relation to carbon liability.
  • Increased council fees – councils may place additional emphasis and importance on separation of waste streams.
  • Are there possibilities for waste incineration in your industry?

Written by:
Lauren Ainscough
Principal Consultant

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