Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Landfill gas method

Suggested Reading Suggested Reading

21 November 2016
CFI ERF

Is the landfill gas method suitable for your business?

  • Are you planning to introduce a new gas collection system or upgrade an existing gas collection system to collect and combust landfill gas?
  • Will the landfill gas collected be combusted using a combustion device such as a flare, boiler, combustion engine or another device that combusts landfill gas with a destruction efficiency of at least 98 per cent?

If you have answered yes to both of these questions, the landfill gas method may be suitable for your business.

The landfill gas method provides an incentive to install a new landfill gas collection system, upgrade an existing system or recommence operation of a system at a site where one has existed before but not operated for some time. Credits can be earned for waste accepted at the landfill facility after 30 June 2014.

The method allows for new, recommencing, upgrade and transitioning projects.

  • New projects are those that install a new landfill gas collection system where there has never been a system located on any part of the landfill previously.
  • Recommencing projects are those that recommence operation of a landfill gas collection system at a site where a system previously operated, providing that both:
    • a landfill gas capture system has not operated at the landfill after 24 April 2014, and
    • a landfill gas capture system has not operated at the landfill for at least three years before an application for the project as an eligible offsets project is made.
  • Upgrade projects are those that upgrade an existing and operating landfill gas collection system to increase the collection efficiency of the system. There are no restrictions on the type of activities that can be undertaken to improve the existing system's collection efficiency. Examples include upgrading the way landfill gas is collected by adding more wells, upgrading the capacity of the combustion devices or installing new software for optimising the operation of the system.

Method variations

Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Ini​tiative) Act 2011 (the Act)​ ​allows for methods to be revised and varied. This is to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended. Variations to methods are developed and drafted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Information on draft methods and method variations is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends making yourself familiar with proposed method variations relevant to your project should they arise, and how any changes between the original method and the varied method may affect your project plan.

Legislative requirements

You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct a landfill gas project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). This includes:

Tools and resources

Regulatory guidance

Quick reference guide to the landfill gas method

Contents


Crediting period

Seven years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim ACCUs.

Relevant section of the Act:

​​​​ ​​

Eligibility requirements

There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:

Four types of projects are eligible under this method:

  • a project transitioning from the Carbon Farming Initiative (using either of the two methodology determinations listed in Part 3 section 12 of the method)
  • a new project, which collects and combusts landfill gas by installing a gas collection system at a site where there has never been a gas collection system
  • an upgrade project, which involves an existing system for which you can provide efficiency records covering at least the two years before applying to run the project, or
  • a recommencing project, which uses a new or existing gas collection system, and did not operate at the site after 24 April 2014 and for three years before applying to run the project.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Project activities

A project involves collecting and combusting methane generated by decomposing biodegradable organic matter in the landfill, and converting it to carbon dioxide.

The methane must be combusted using a combustion device. This may be:

  • a flare, boiler or internal combustion engine operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, or
  • a device that combusts landfill gas with a destruction efficiency of at least 98 per cent, is operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and for which the combustion process can be monitored minute-by-minute.

Relevant sections of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Exclusions

The method does not credit the destruction of emissions from carbon tax waste, which is waste deposited in landfill between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2014. It only credits the destruction of emissions from legacy and non-legacy waste:

  • Legacy waste is waste deposited before 1 July 2012, when the carbon pricing mechanism commenced.
  • Non-legacy waste is waste deposited after 30 June 2014, when the carbon pricing mechanism ended.

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Abatement calculations

Abatement is calculated by working out the net abatement amount which is project abatement minus baseline abatement.

Project abatement is calculated as the amount of methane combusted from legacy and non-legacy waste, minus the amount of methane that would have been oxidised in the near-surface conditions of the landfill if it was not collected during the project. Part 4 Division 3 of the method deals with the calculations involved in determining project abatement.

Baseline abatement is the amount of methane combusted from legacy and non-legacy waste during the project, multiplied by the proportion of methane that would have been combusted in the absence of the project. Part 4 Division 4 of the method deals with calculating baseline abatement. Some of the major steps involved in calculating baseline abatement include determining:

  • regulatory proportion
  • default baseline proportion, and
  • baseline proportion.

The regulatory proportion reflects the amount of methane that would have to be combusted to meet quantitative regulatory requirements. Schedule 1 in the method describes how to determine this proportion. It can be determined by:

  • using regulatory guidelines for landfill
  • asking your state or territory environmental regulator
  • asking your state or territory environmental regulator and calculating the collection efficiency of the existing landfill gas system, or
  • engaging an independent expert.

The default proportion represents qualitative regulatory requirements, and is either 30 per cent or zero per cent. There are no conditions for applying the 30 per cent default, but the zero per cent default can only be applied if you can demonstrate that no qualitative requirements apply to the landfill. Examples of qualitative requirements include:

  • install or develop a plan to install a landfill gas collection system
  • control or reduce methane concentrations
  • control, manage or limit odour, and
  • capture landfill gas where practicable.

The baseline proportion depends on the type of project.

  • For new and recommencing projects, it is the higher of the regulatory proportion or the default proportion.
  • For upgrade projects, it is the higher of the regulatory proportion, the default proportion or the proportion of methane combusted during the reporting period that would have been combusted without the project.

Further guidance about how to determine project and baseline abatement can be found in the guide to the landfill gas method located under Tools and Resources.

The equations required to calculate project abatement and baseline abatement are outlined in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Landfill Gas Calculator.

Relevant sections of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Reporting requirements

In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, the method also sets out the following method-specific requirements for offset reports:

  • Upgrade projects are only able to submit their first report 12 months after the upgrade has taken place. This provides enough data to be able to compare the improvement in collection efficiency from the period prior to the upgrade.
  • Other types of projects can submit their first report between one month to two years from the date the project was registered and then up to every two years thereafter.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant sections of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Monitoring requirements

In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, projects must meet specific monitoring requirements in the method. Section 33 lists these requirements along with the process for monitoring and the standard to which it must adhere.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

​​​​ ​​

Record-keeping requirements

This method does not have any record-keeping requirements that are additional to the general record keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule

​​​​ ​​

Audits

All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements, see the Act, the Rule and the audit information on our website.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

​​​​ ​​

Specialist skills

Specialist skills may be required to carry out the project with the method. Examples of specialist skills include:

  • registered professional engineer
  • certified energy manager, and
  • certified measurement and verification professional.

Relevant section of the Rule:

​​​​ ​​

Documents on this page Documents on this page

Was this page useful?

LEAVE FEEDBACK
 
 
preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only preload-image-only