24.3 C
Byron Shire
February 22, 2024

What to do with the poo?

Latest News

An adventure of a different kind

Two years ago adventurer Emma Scattergood discovered that a journey doesn’t always involve travel. In 2022, Emma was told she had stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer. 

Other News

Man charged after dramatic hinterland police chase

A dramatic police chase from highway to hinterland bush in the early hours of the morning has led to the expected court appearance of a 26-year-old man today.

Bob Brown arrested in the Styx

Yesterday Dr Bob Brown was arrested alongside activists Colette Harmsen and Ali Alishah in a logging coupe on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. All three were taken to the Bridgewater Police Station.

Tamara Smith announces new Wollongbar preschool

Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens Early Learning Spokesperson, has welcomed an announcement from the NSW government to build a new public preschool adjacent to Wollongbar public school.

Conciliation fails over 742-lot DA on North Lismore Plateau

Tuesday’s Land and Environment Court conciliation meeting on the 742-residential-lot subdivision on Sleeping Lizard – Banyam Biagham (the North Lismore Plateau) ‘was terminated’. 

Just what the doctor and nurses and midwives ordered

It seems like nurses and midwives are always struggling under the weight of poor patient-to-staff ratios. It is hoped that an influx of new workers could help ease the load. This will be a welcome relief for local staff.

New programs and plenty of tennis have flowed from tennis court upgrades in Suffolk Park

Suffolk Park Tennis is in full swing after court enhancements and the introduction of a full program since then. The...

Dr Dirk Erler at the Casino Wastewater Treatment Works. Photo supplied.

Australia has lagged behind the rest of the world in waste processing and Southern Cross University (SCU) is bringing Australia to the table. They are investigating new uses for human excrement and food processing waste while solving disposal issues.

SCU has received funding for a two-year project focusing on applying techniques such as pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion to dairy-processing solids (the dairy industry produces millions of litres of liquid organic wastes annually) and human waste in the northern rivers.

Pyrolysis, is the controlled combustion of organic material to produce biochar and combustible gases, and anaerobic digestion produces combustible methane.

Though they aren’t new technologies ‘there has been little application of these techniques by local industry,’ said project leader Dr Dirk Erler.

Given animal manures have been used as fertilisers for centuries, this project will also explore if the processed human excrement and dairy by-product have similar potential.

‘The project involves testing to see if heat-treated wastes have any agronomic benefit, or if we can strip nutrients such as phosphates from the wastes,’ said Dr Terry Rose from Southern Cross Plant Science.

‘At the moment farmers in the region spend significant amounts of money on fertilisers, where they should be getting it cheaply from the wastes being generated in other local industries.’

Methane could produce onsite electricity while biochar, a soil amendment product, could be used locally.

‘The aim of the project is to apply these technologies to see if they work, and then investigate ways of maximising energy and nutrient recapture,’ said Dr Erler.

$500,000 funding has come from the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment while Richmond Valley Council, NORCO, and Richmond Dairies have collectively contributed  $180,000 to the study.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Compress it into Bricks to use as Fuel in boilers etc
    By removing all moisture the solids would be a very good energy source.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Police confirm two babies dead on February 11 in Mullumbimby

NSW Police have confirmed that at about 2am Sunday 11 February, emergency services were called to a home in Mullumbimby following reports of a concern for welfare.

Just what the doctor and nurses and midwives ordered

It seems like nurses and midwives are always struggling under the weight of poor patient-to-staff ratios. It is hoped that an influx of new workers could help ease the load. This will be a welcome relief for local staff.

Affordable housing summit next week

As the affordable housing issue shows no signs of easing in the near future, key figures in the housing, property, and finance sectors will come together to tackle the country’s housing challenges at the ninth Affordable Housing Development & Investment Summit

Lorikeets on the mend as paralysis season eases

A poorly-understood phenomenon where lorikeets in the region becoming paralysed and unable to fly is thankfully coming to an end for 2024, says WIRES wildlife vet, Dr Tania Bishop.