Maccy Biochar is currently auspiced by the Macclesfield Community Association Inc.
Receive tree litter and other organic debris (eg. prunings, off-cuts, woody weeds, etc) from local households, landowners, businesses and Council;
Produce and sell biochar in bulk to retailers for local gardens, local horticulture, agriculture and other local industrial uses;
Sequester carbon and accumulate carbon credits;
Trade carbon credits with local consumers of non-renewable energy (eg: to offset local electricity consumption, gas consumption and motor vehicle use);
Conduct training courses on biochar;
Conduct guided tours of the Centre;
Demonstrate that a small community can make an important contribution to offsetting and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
Biochar is a form of charcoal and is good for the soil, good as an animal feed supplement, has numerous industrial uses and combats climate change by sequestering carbon.
Our drop-off site on Shady Grove road
at 5 NOVEMBER 2020*
BIOCHAR PRODUCED** 19566 Litres
CARBON CAPTURED 2531 Kg
NET CO2 CAPTURED 8.543 Tonnes
TOTAL MWhr OFFSET 16.751 MWhr
* Based on 3rd party biochar analysis dated 19/4/20
** Includes 3090L made by members for private use.
OUR STORY SO FAR
In December 2018, two Macclesfield residents, Kelvin Williams and Brian Lewis started discussing the merits of starting up a biochar centre in Macclesfield. There was mutual agreement that such a Centre, if run as a not-for-profit community enterprise, could have real benefits for the community and would demonstrate that individuals can do something about Climate Change.
Brian prepared an outline of a proposal for a Community Biochar Centre and circulated it to individuals, community groups and the Mt. Barker Council for comment. Word of the proposal reached the Weekender Herald newspaper and an article appeared in the January 17, 2019 issue that described the proposed project.
Brian & Kelvin arranged for a public meeting to be held at the Macclesfield Institute on 22 January 2019 to discuss the proposal and if agreed to form a Steering Committee to take the project forward as a community effort. The meeting was well attended by local residents and landowners, and by representatives of Mt. Barker Council (Mayor Ann Ferguson), Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, and Regional Development Australia (Fleurieu, KI and Adelaide Hills), Steve Shotton.
A Steering Committee was duly elected comprising: Brian Lewis (Chair), Kelvin Williams, Kath Thurmer, Stephen Heading, Tess Minett (Ward Councillor), Greg Marlu and Greg Sarre (a representative from Mt. Barker Council).
The Committee prepared a detailed proposal and submitted it to Council on 31 March 2019 asking for approval for the project and for assistance in locating a suitable site. A deputation to the Mount Barker Council meeting of 6 May by Brian Lewis and Kelvin Williams presented an overview of the proposal to Councillors.
On 20 May 2019 the Macclesfield Community Association Inc. agreed to auspice the maccy biochar group.
On 27 July 2019 we held our first public open day to demonstrate the making of biochar.
On 15 August 2019 we made our first batch of biochar on private property.
On 16 August 2019 we received our first delivery at our first collection point on Shady Grove Road.
By the end of our first season (mid-November 2019) we had made in excess of 1000 litres of biochar and (based on the analysis of our biochar by an accredited 3rd party in April 2020) we had captured about 0.8 tonne of carbon dioxide.
2020 JOB CAMPAIGN
Covid19 restrictions will apply so teams are limited to 10 persons and physical separation is to be observed which means 1 person per vehicle unless they are family members.
Wood collection has now started and will proceed through to the end of November.
We are planning 1 collection day per week (weather permitting) alternating between Tuesdays and Fridays. So there will be:
Tuesday Collection (once per fortnight).
Friday Collection (once per fortnight).
We took delivery of our new kiln (shown opposite) on 25 April 2020. Kiln operation, started in May, and is planned for Wednesday each week (weather permitting).