4 Apr 2009

Council could use human waste to power city

5:51 pm on 4 April 2009

Wellington City Council is investigating using the capital's sewage and plastics to generate electricity.

The council has commissioned a feasibility report into the possibility of setting up a zero-carbon-emission facility where the two waste products would be burned to produce a gas capable of powering generators.

The council's environmental portfolio leader, Celia Wade-Brown, says most solid sewage is simply dumped at a landfill.

"It's a resource that is continually going to be made within the city," she says, "so we better start thinking about how to use it.

"And the other side of it is trying to process our waste here. Shipping glass, plastics, paper and so on overseas doesn't really make sense in the long term."

Ms Wade-Brown says the feasibility report should be completed by July, though any project is likely to be small-scale until the council can be confident the idea is sound.