Carbon credits for source separated organics – are you eligible?

The Department of the Environment has finally released a draft of the Source Separated Organic Waste Determination for public consultation today.

Generate ACCUs for diverting organic waste from landfill

The Source Separated Organics Method allows organisations to gain ACCU credits for activities that involve the diversion of organic material from landfill.

Abatement is calculated as the difference between the emissions that would have occurred had the waste gone to landfill (using a conservative estimate and accounting for gas capture at the landfill) and the emissions produced as a result of processing the organic waste. The method provides some flexibility in the way that emissions are calculated and can be as simple as knowing your tonnes and using default values.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

Eligibility categories Criteria
Proponents Retail and hospitality outlets, industrial businesses, local councils, waste management companies and food charities.
Projects
  • ‘New’ (you must have at least 24 months of data to prove that waste was going to landfill);
  • Expansions to existing activities;
  • Aggregation of waste diversion activities (the treatment of multiple source separated organic waste streams at a single facility); or
  • The diversion of food waste by charities.
Waste
  • Food;
  • Textiles;
  • Garden and park;
  • Wood and wood waste;
  • Sludge;
  • Nappies; and
  • Rubber and leather.
Technology
  • Composting (windrow or enclosed);
  • Process engineered fuel manufacture;
  • Food distribution via charities; and
  • Anaerobic digestion.

Key default values to be aware of

The methodology covers a range of discount factors and default value to take into consideration when planning a project. While very conservative, the existence of these default values will make it extremely easy for anyone to participate as ling as they have a good handle on their tonnes.

The method provides:

  1. The baseline emissions from landfill are discounted by the average landfill gas capture rate for the state. It you have a choice, go for NT, SA, QLd or WA first!
    Table 1
  2. Default waste composition in GO and FOGO bins:
  3. Default current Green Organics “Landfill diversion factor“ for each state
  4. And introduces a new concept to account for expected increase in BAU recycling rates called the “improvement Factor”
    Table 2

What does it mean for you?

For a project to be eligible under the Emissions Reduction Fund it must be:

  • New (newness requirement) – the project must not have ‘begun’ before it has been registered with the CER;
  • Beyond regulatory requirements (EPA requirements, planning, etc.); and
  • Unlikely to receive funds from an alternative designated government programs

Activities which do not breach the Newness Requirement include conducting feasibility studies, obtaining regulatory approvals and consent, and conducting negotiations.

MRA strongly recommends that if you are planning to carry out any of the projects listed above within the next 5 years that you seek professional advice and register your project with the CER nowbefore you start – to avoid the risk of breaching the newness requirement and participate in the next ERF auction.

Who? Recommended next steps
Composter, AWT operator, PEF manufacturer etc.
  1. Negotiate ‘aggregation rights’ with your customers
  2. Register your expansion and/or new project for additional SSO
Retail and hospitality outlets, industrial businesses, food charity
  1. Negotiate ‘aggregation rights’ with your waste service provider
  2. Register your expansion and/or new project.
Council
  1. Negotiate ‘aggregation rights’ with your waste service provider
  2. Register your expansion and/or new GO/FOGO collection service

For further information on the types of projects that can receive funding and the participation process, please contact Jordon Wong (jordon@mraconsulting.com.au) or Julien Gastaldi (julien@mraconsulting.com.au).