Push for Blue Mountains renewable energy projects

Representatives from the community group Blue Mountains Renewable Energy Co-operative (BM Renew) met with Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles recently to discuss their plans to establish community-owned renewable energy projects in the Blue Mountains.

The newly-formed group, currently investigating various opportunities suitable for the region, was excited to discuss with Clr Myles a waste-to-energy option that could use a resource going straight to landfill.

"A huge amount of organic waste from households, schools, businesses and farms in the region is thrown away each week," said Sue Morrison from BM Renew.

"Instead of going to landfill, where it decomposes and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, organic waste could be collected, turned into biogas and burned to produce electricity.

"Biogas plants are already popular throughout Europe and can help farmers as they produce a biochar by-product which can be used as a soil conditioner," she said.

The BM Renew representatives discussed with Clr Myles the advantages of a waste-to-energy project for Blue Mountains City Council, such as a reduction in future waste levy and carbon dioxide emission costs associated with Council’s waste management operations.

"I’m open to exploring the waste-to-energy proposal by BM Renew as it could potentially improve waste management whilst reducing costs and generating local employment," said Clr Myles.

"It could be a win-win for council and the community in the future. Organic waste reduction will certainly be a guiding principle of council’s long term waste strategy being developed in 2012-13."

BM Renew will run a workshop about community renewable energy at the upcoming Footlight Festival on Saturday, September 8.

BM Renew meets each month at Lawson Library.

For more details and to get involved, visit bmrenew.org.