Frequently Asked Questions

Any project that tackles the big issues, head on… Any project that advances smart and new logic has, historically been met by naysayers who speak and think of doom and gloom.

To avoid the obvious and overcome the any mis-information we summarize and answer the most often asked questions and claims about the Mt Cotton Project.

1. I heard that the emissions from the power plant are toxic and could cause damage to the health of residents and even pollute the water in Leslie Harrison Dam. Is this true?

NO toxic emissions occur through the combustion of chicken litter. Additionally there has been put in place a very strict protocol to record emissions from the stack and ground concentrations.

The Environmental Protection Agency has examined all aspects of the level of emissions as have independent consultants engaged by the Redlands City Council. The power plant burns clean, thanks to technology established for Cleveland Power by CSIRO. Continuous monitoring systems will be installed on the stack.

In addition information provided from the UK highlights that the emissions are well below the Australian EPA standards and well below the EU’ Waste incineration directive.

The burning of chicken litter also provides a more environmentally sound solution than present disposal methods.

This is equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the roads of Redlands.

2. How bad will the smell be once the plant is in operation?

There will be no odour from the Power Station at all. The odour from burning chicken littler breaks down when temperatures reach 600 degrees Celsius. The Power Plant burns at between 820 degrees and 960 degrees Celsius.

Also any air captured in the storage shed is pulled into the furnace and utilized as feed air and burnt as well which eliminates any potential for leakage.

3.  Will there be increases to traffic on Mt Cotton Rd as truckloads of chicken litter are transported to the plant?

The Golden Cockerel Group produces far in excess of what it requires as fuel. There will be reduced traffic flow as trucks currently used to gather chicken litter now have to drive out of The Redlands to dispose of it.

Currently trucks are forced to use major roadways for these lengthy and time consuming trips transporting the litter to areas outside of the city. This plant eradicates that traffic flow.

Also there will be no more pick-ups of chicken litter than occurs now. The Power Plant will mean shorter trips for these trucks and will reduce the amount of time they are on local and major roads.

Mt Cotton Rd has approximately 1,200 vehicles movements per hour during peak times. The 6 vehicles per day entering the Power Plant will not increase the traffic on Mt Cotton Road; in fact it will reduce the number of vehicles leaving Redland City.

4.  Your licence is to consume 60K tonnes of waste, but a recent change to the design either of the plant or the chimney has increased the capacity to near 230K tonnes?

The chimney does not change the amount of fuel burnt. Rigid fuel limits have been set by State Government and must be adhered to. This has been clarified to the town planners. Cleveland Power will in fact use less than they have been licensed to use.

5.  Mt Cotton is a wildlife wonderland. What danger is there to our wildlife?

The Power Plant, because it is so environmentally friendly poses no threat to wildlife. No trees will be cut down and no clearing needs to take place to facilitate construction. Because of the reduction in transportation time, it is expected that wildlife in terms of road death, will be reduced. This is an environmentally sound and cost effective way of treating a waste and converting it to green energy.

6. How big will the plant be? Won’t it be an eyesore in what is becoming an eco-tourism area?

The plant itself is 80m x 80m and will be located at the rear of the Golden Cockerel Processing Plant at Hillview Rd Mt Cotton. It is being built on a site where existing chicken sheds currently stand and will be no more visible from Mt Cotton Rd than the chicken sheds it replaces.

7. What if you don’t produce enough waste to keep the plant running and will need to truck in waste from all over SEQ, resulting in much increased truck movements?

The State Government has set a limit of just over 70,000 tonnes a year of litter to power the plant. We will burn approximately 65,000 tonnes of chicken litter a year, below its State Government approved limit.

8.  Aren’t there far safer and better ways to dispose of the litter than burning it? Other, cleaner ways of disposing of chicken litter such as: Vermiculture, Production of chicken pellet fertiliser, Composting or Anaerobic digestion

Over many years and via many investigations ALL of these options do not stack up to be a clean, environmentally sound or viable alternative.

All of the above options have an environmental impact. There is no such thing as an option that will not impact the environment in someway.

  • Vermiculture– The odour produced from this system would have a large environmental impact. It does not work with poultry litter as we would have to import a large amount of other material, such as green waste to achieve the outcome. Council’s own Vermiculture trial will verify this. This type of operation emits a large amount of Methane due to the composting of organic matter, which in turn fails to provide any current profitable outcome.
  • Pelleted fertilizer-Requires a high level of energy to pelletize the product and the odour produced during the heating process would we far worse than an existing poultry shed. Equally it is uneconomical.
  • Composting– It is only viable if the users of the product are in close proximity to the source. Today poultry manure has to compete with green waste compost as well as other animal wastes. While this has been used for many years and proven to have its own environmental impacts and difficulties, the market for compost is moving quickly and moving away from chicken compost. This operation also emits a large amount of Methane due to the composting of organic matter.
  • Anaerobic digestion-Is still in its infancy. The types of bacteria required do not convert the poultry manure into methane efficiently. This type of system would require 2 times the area and would still require a disposal method for the sludge left over from the process. It also requires 2 times the capital.

9.  Isn’t this plant the first in the world of its type and therefore is a prototype?

This is simply not the case. Rotary kilns have been used all over the world for the past 100 years. The process we have adopted will ensure the complete combustion of the fuel while protecting the boiler from corrosion and erosion. This is using a simple technology in a very smart way. Rotary kilns and boilers have been used in Europe for many years to utilise many different types of fuel.

10. What chemicals actually will come from the chimney?

This has been modeled and approved by the EPA. Cleveland Power limits are the strictest given by the EPA however the company will achieve well below these limits. Again the UK has been doing this for the past 20 years. It is not new and ALL of the variables are well known.

At present litter has to be shipped as far north as Gympie and as far west a Warwick. This in itself highlights issues with truck movements across the city. The plant eradicates these movements. Also, at present, local producers of litter have real difficulty each day trying to dispose of the problem.

Cleveland Power-Now that’s Clever