Council are looking to make the most of animal waste.
Council are looking to make the most of animal waste. Bryony Jackson

Byron Council wants your waste

BYRON Shire Council is investigating the potential to utilise all sources of organic waste material, termed 'biomass', produced in the Shire.

Biomass is organic matter from commercial or farming activities.

Innovative use of biomass provides an opportunity for reducing carbon emissions and creating a valuable resource from the mass of organic waste material produced within the Shire.

As a very first step Council has engaged Planit Engineering to do a detailed assessment to assess the possible sources of biomass within the Byron Shire.

The Council is keen to know about all farming and commercial sources of organic waste currently not collected. This could be from dairy, pig and chicken farms or commercial food manufacturing.

"The future potential of innovative biomass utilisation in the Byron Shire is very exciting. It's another step towards a zero emissions community and pulls together many overlapping environmental and economic benefits,” Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.

Council's environmental programs officer Lara Brunner said there are many steps between where we are now and having a fully functioning biomass utilisation facility operating in the Byron Shire.

"The first step is seeing if we really do have a sufficient volume of biomass available that isn't already being used for other valuable purposes.

"At this stage we are open to technology and the location of a proposed plant because we will be relying on the findings of this initial investigation to inform that decision,” she said.

Mayor Richardson said that Council will be holding a public forum to share the process, community knowledge, expertise or ideas on a biomass utilisation industry in the Byron Shire.

"There are many in the Byron Shire who has expressed interest and project ideas for the use of Council's bio solids, bamboo or kerbside food and garden organic material collection. Project ideas presented to Council range from simple composting to advanced bio energy technologies.

"This investigation will go further to include biomass sources from outside of Council operations to create a more holistic and comprehensive picture of the Shire's biomass potential,” Mayor Richardson said

Letters will be sent out to enterprises that may have biomass sources that could contribute to the study and a public forum will be held early next year to further engage with the Byron Shire Community.

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