Landfill Gas Extraction and Utilisation Project at the Coastal Park landfill site.
Landfill Gas Extraction and Utilisation Project at the Coastal Park landfill site.

City of Cape Town’s landfill site earns carbon credit for reducing emissions

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town earned its first ‘carbon credits’ for reducing carbon emissions with the Landfill Gas Extraction and Utilisation Project at the Coastal Park landfill site.

The Solid Waste Department’s project earned 126 274 carbon credits from the UN-approved Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), one of the flexibility mechanisms under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Kyoto Protocol that encourages developing countries to implement emission reduction by obtaining ‘carbon credits’.

Water and Waste Mayco member Xanthea Limberg said the project had been going for seven years, including the registration with UNFCCC.

The credits earned have the capacity to be sold to industries unable to reduce their carbon emissions to meet their carbon tax obligations. Limberg said any company that has a tax obligation in South Africa, or that needed to offset their emissions, would be eligible to buy carbon credits.

“The 126 274 carbon credits earned was the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from approximately 24 762 passenger vehicles driven for one year,” said Limberg.

The Mayco member said the purpose of the project was to reduce carbon emissions at the Coastal Park landfill to mitigate the effects of climate change, which was also achieved through the conversion of landfill gas into electricity.

“The gas extractions system (at the project) extracts landfill gas for flaring to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste decomposition in landfill sites. Once the electricity generation equipment is installed, the landfill gas will be used to generate electricity,” said Limberg.

Limberg said other municipalities or companies looking to get involved in landfilling and start earning carbon credits from similar projects, should formally apply to the City to use its Programme of Activities.

“Global warming is one of the key factors that drives climate variability – and ultimately climate change – which is thought to have played a role in our recent drought. This project shows that the City is doing its part to make progress possible and mitigate climate change,” said Limberg.

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Cape Argus

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