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January 26, 2022

Lismore opens $700,000 composting facility

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Lismore has expanded its organic composting facility. (supplied)
Lismore has expanded its organic composting facility. (supplied)

Lismore City Council’s $700,000 expansion of the organics processing facility was launched today at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.

The new technology is capable of processing 25,000 tonnes of food and garden organics annually and will halve composting time, allowing the council to keep up with increasing demand for its 100 per cent organic compost products.

The facility was opened by Mayor Jenny Dowell, Lismore MP Thomas George and visiting representative from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority.

‘It is fantastic to see this expanded facility opened today – we have closed the loop on our organic processing and that is something to be very proud of,’ Mayor Jenny Dowell said.

‘We already have good demand for our compost from local farmers and organic producers, and the expansion will enable us to capture even more of that market.

‘To be processing food and garden waste from our residents and turning that into a product we can sell is not only innovative in a sustainability sense, but it also means we can generate revenue for more recycling and sustainability initiatives.’

Lismore City Council was the first council in Australia to achieve 100 per cent organic certification for its compost made from food and garden waste, and earlier this year the milestone was recognised with a Local Government Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership and Sustainability.

The expansion of the organics processing facility will allow the council to process waste for neighbouring councils and further cement Lismore as the recycling hub of the Northern Rivers.

The expanded facility is a Waste Less Recycle More and NSW Environmental Trust project funded by the Waste Levy. A $350,000 NSW Environmental Trust grant was matched by the council in order to purchase the new composting system.

Provided by Australian Native Landscapes, the Aero-Sorb compost system aerates the compost through a system of pipes underneath the compost piles, reducing the need to turn them.

This will halve the existing 16 to 20-week composting process and reduce fuel costs as well as saving on electricity and water usage.

‘We are now waiting for a new bagging unit so we can better meet the needs of backyard gardeners who wish to purchase our compost,’ Mayor Dowell said.

‘“The machine will enable council to sell small bags of compost to the many local residents who visit the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre but do not want large quantities.

‘I have had a truckload of compost delivered for my own garden, and the greens just went berserk. It’s wonderful stuff!’

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