Council to sell dried poo for profit
A SOUTHEAST council has made world headlines after creating a process to turn sewage into energy.
Logan City Council's "gasification" system is set to turn residents' poo into revenue when it is up and running at council's Loganholme sewage plant by 2021.
Changes to state environment laws, which came into effect in January, forced councils to come up with new environmentally friendly ways to dispose of solids after waste water treatment.
The $17.28 million project, to be built at the council's existing Loganholme wastewater treatment plant, will dry out the sewage using gas from the poo.
Currently, the biosolids are trucked out to Darling Downs to spread on farmland.
The gasifier invention will dry out the sludge using solar power, heat and gas from the waste, with the end result a saleable pellet-like fertiliser.
Council water Infrastructure Manager Tony Goodhew said the system will save ratepayers $500,000 in annual operating costs and cut council's carbon footprint by 4800 tonnes a year.
He said it came in the nick of time as spiralling electricity prices coupled with the stricter environmental laws were pushing up overall costs.
"Within hours of us announcing this project, we had a call from a utility in New York at the same stage in development," he said.
"We know this is the way forward and it's not only going to save us money but also be kinder to the environment in the long term."
The Loganholme Treatment Plant currently pumps out 90 tonnes of wet sludge a day which equates to about 34,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Every day, six truckloads of the processed waste are taken 300km and dumped at the Darling Downs at a cost of $1.8 million.
Under the new process, the final product will no longer be regarded as waste and will be sold instead.
Interest in the project also garnered a $6.22 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the facility would offer significant opportunities which he expected other councils to copy.