Forestry produce data and other waste

Confident that the federal government will allow the burning of forest biomass as part of the Renewable Energy Target, FCNSW have released its 2014 ‘biomaterial report’. In general timber extracted on the south coast is nearly twice the volume reported as logged on the north coast. As indicated in the following cells, reporting is on a State Forest basis, in this case Bermagui SF. None of the cells in the ‘Biomass for electricity product’ column have a volume, this year.

State Forest Name High Quality Products Low Quality Sawlogs Pulpwood Other (firewood, fencing timber etc) Biomass for electricity production Grand Total
Bermagui 13288 2033 10404 356 26081

According to the data this timber came from 289 hectares. However the following table provides the timber and area estimates from the Harvesting Plans.

Bermagui Cpts Area Sawlog Pulp
2002 92.4 1570 1144
2001 206.3 5278 2233
2069 93.6 900 2300
2004 76.1 675 380
2005 107.1 2463 1166
Totals 575.5 10886 7223

The biomass report suggests an additional 7,909 cubic metres of timber were taken from the compartments and the area logged was 286.5 hectares less than indicated in the Harvesting Plans.
Unfortunately, the 10 year estimates are somewhat less convincing. According to these figures Nalbaugh SF produced 423 cm/ha , Gnupa SF 1,023 cm/ha and with 5,226 cm/ha, Nungatta SF is pretty well solid wood.

Thanks to Forest Regulation NSW for advising about the biomass report.

Other waste related news this week comes from the NSW central coast where the ABC reports on ‘ . . . the establishment of a $4 million facility at Berkeley Vale, which will eventually convert 200 tonnes of plastics a day into 50 million litres of diesel and 18 million litres of petrol a year.’

The immediate response from Total Environment Centre Executive Director, Jeff Angel, was less than supportive, describing the technology as a ‘backward step’. At issue is the recyclable plastic in the plant, with Jeff suggesting “What you want to do, in order to get the best result for recycling plastic and that certainly includes things like plastic milk containers, is for them to be converted back into plastic because that material can be converted into plastic time and time again.”

While I tend to agree, dismissing the technology on this basis seems a little extreme. If the idea is to reduce greenhouse gases and landfill, such a plant, scaled to local waste resources, could be a boon. This would seem particularly the case if gases’ flared off’ during the conversion process could be harnessed to produce bio-char.

Of course it would require an acknowledgement that climate change is an emergency that requires all efforts to reduce emissions asap.

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