WASTE NOT: Goats may be part of the answer to energising local industries.
WASTE NOT: Goats may be part of the answer to energising local industries.

Energised by goat poo

IT'S enough to give any farmer the s&^%s, but in a good way.

In a new series of workshops social researcher Richard Parsons is hoping goat poo from Nimbin Valley Dairy could one day power the farm's production sheds.

In partnership with Lismore City Council, Sustain Northern Rivers and the Northern Rivers BioHubs Consortium will hold the free workshops to discuss all things dung and the potential for bioenergy in the region.

Mr Parsons explained bioenergy includes material derived from plants, animals and their by-products. Examples include sugar cane residue, livestock waste, municipal green waste, forestry residues, and plants or weeds grown for energy.

Talking about waste

"'Tthe aim of these discussions is to help assess community support for prospective bioenergy projects in the Northern Rivers," he said.

"We would like people to join us for a discussion around the potential benefits, concerns and challenges of various bioenergy technologies and energy sources.

"This is about being interactive with the community and finding out how they feel about bioenergy and where it may play a role in a sustainable energy future."

Goats and whey

Nimbin Valley Dairy owner Paul Wilson said he's interested in seeing if the waste from his herd of 200 goats and his excess whey from cheese-making can be used to make methane and power the dairy.

"It's all part of the plan for our farming system - we want to reduce the waste we are generating and reduce our electricity usage and costs," he said.

"From a farming system point of view, it's the logical next step to turn all our excess waste into energy and then use the rest for fertiliser and compost. We want to close the loop on our farming system and make sure our farm has a minimal impact on the environment."

Workshops

Thursday, 15 October
Birth & Beyond, Nimbin

Tuesday, 20 October
Canvas & Kettle Room, Civic and Cultural Centre, Murwillumbah

Thursday, 22 October
North Coast Institute of TAFE, Casino

Tuesday, 27 October
North Coast Institute of TAFE, Lismore

Workshops run from 6-8pm and people are asked to please arrive by 5.45pm. To register visit www.eventbrite.com.au and search 'Bioenergy in the Northern Rivers'. Alternatively, contact Richard Parsons at rp.socialresearch@gmail.com or 0402 475 951. Attendance is free and light refreshments will be provided.
 



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