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Converting rubbish into a resource - landfill gas heats QEII Leisure Centre

22 June 2007

Today’s ceremony at QEII Park to be attended by the Prime Minister Helen Clark will mark the completion of Christchurch City Council’s project to collect methane gas from the closed Burwood Landfill and use it as a resource at QEII Park.

Organic waste in landfills generate methane gas – one of the worst of the greenhouse gases. The project has captured the gas created at the closed Burwood Landfill in Christchurch and transported it by an underground pipeline to QEII Park where it now provides heating and electricity for the swimming pool complex.

Mayor Garry Moore says the pipeline is an example of the Council’s strong commitment to energy efficiency. The pipeline will save the Council about $1 million in LPG and electricity costs a year at QEII.

The project uses gas that would have otherwise escaped into the atmosphere. When methane is burnt, it is converted to carbon dioxide which reduces its climate impact by a factor of 21.

By capturing the methane gas this way, the project reduces carbon emission equivalent to that produced from 11,000 cars each year and would generate enough electricity to power 200 average households.

He says the Council is proud of what is achieved with this project. "We strive to find projects which will benefit the environment and provide our residents and future generations for a healthier city.

"The Landfill Gas Pipeline is an outstanding example of this work. I am proud of our achievements in this area and look forward to the city building on these successes by creating other innovative and sustainable energy savings."


In December 2004, the New Zealand Government awarded the Council 200,000 carbon credits (or Emission Reduction Units (ERU)) for the capture and transport of methane gas from the closed Burwood landfill to QEII Park to heat and power the leisure facility.

This award was made through the Government’s Project to Reduce Emissions Programme which forms part of the Government’s response to its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Last September, Christchurch City Council approved the sale of its carbon credits to a single, overseas, private sector buyer. The sale, New Zealand’s first overseas carbon credit sale, will generate about $3 million in revenue, for the Council over five years (between 2008 and 2012).

This income, combine with cost savings, achieves a four-year payback for the $4.2 million capital project.

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