Gas NZ and the Bioenergy Associations have applauded the Government’s Transforming Recycling Consultation announcement and are encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the proposed reforms.
“The food scrap waste from cooking your dinner, could in the future be used to cook your dinner,” says Gas NZ Chief Executive, Janet Carson.
Ms Carson says the proposal in Government’s Transforming Recycling Consultation to separate food waste before it enters the rubbish tip, would see less waste in landfills and more biogas in New Zealand homes and businesses.
By 2030, the Government wants all businesses and households to separate food scraps from their rubbish. The proposal announced by Minister for the Environment, David Parker, highlights biogas production as a potential use for the organic waste.
“Soft landfill wastes, such as food scraps, are an ideal feedstock for producing biogas in New Zealand.”
“The proposal to separate food scraps before entering the landfill would make local biogas facilities more attractive. This not only supports a circular economy but also devolved energy supply, including bringing energy decisions closer to communities.”
Alzbeta Bouskova, Convenor, Gaseous Biofuels Interest Group of the Bioenergy Association, and General Manager Ecogas, says a good example of this in action is the biogas initiative announced last year between Ecogas and Firstgas.
“The plant will recycle organic wastes from across the North Island, including from Auckland, into biogas and biofertiliser, and then inject the biogas into existing gas pipelines. The Ecogas facility is under construction at Reporoa and will be a regional facility for recycling organic food scraps.
“Long term security of feedstock is critical for commercial viability of these plants. Government’s proposed food waste collection gives the necessary confidence to investors, ultimately enabling faster transition to a circular economy,” she says.
General Manager Customer and Regulatory First Gas, Ben Gerritsen says projects like the Reporoa plant are a sign of things to come. Aggregating food scraps with other organic wastes from agriculture, industry and existing wastewater treatment facilities will help to improve the economics of biogas production, he says.
“The Reporoa project will show what’s possible; that waste can be used to produce biogas for low-carbon, locally made gas, and distributed through current natural gas infrastructure.”
“We hope this provides knowledge and experience that helps others get the most out of the type of waste recycling promoted in the Transforming Recycling consultation,” Mr Gerritsen said.