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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Tweed waste’s way to compost

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Willy the Wheely Bin and his fruit and vege friends remind us how the Tweed’s organics can be turned into valuable compost at the announcement of a new organics processing facility in the Tweed. On board with the message are (from left) Director Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, Soilco General Manager Charlie Emery, Mayor of Tweed, Cr Katie Milne, Deputy Mayor, Cr Chris Cherry and councillors Ron Cooper and Pryce Allsop. Photo supplied.

Organic waste shouldn’t really be waste – there has to be a way to re-purpose this material and the Tweed is one step closer to processing its own organics following an announcement of the awarding of the contract for an organics processing facility at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre.

The processing facility will be the largest of its kind in the Northern Rivers and will process nearly 8,000 tonnes a month of the Tweed’s food and garden waste, turning it into high quality compost for reuse. The contents of residents’ green bins were previously processed outside the Tweed.

Soilco Pty Ltd has been awarded the contract to design, construct and operate the facility. The company has extensive experience in creating recycled organics in an economically viable way.

Mayor of Tweed, Cr Katie Milne thanked the NSW Government for its financial contribution to the organics processing facility which, she said, is part of Council’s long term ‘zero waste’ commitment.

‘The introduction of the green bins has reduced waste to landfill by approximately 20 per cent. We used to recover 42 per cent and now we recover 60 per cent due to the green bin waste getting turned into compost,’ said Councillor Milne.

‘It is part of the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre Masterplan, which plans for waste management for the next 50 years – a $40 million investment in responsibly minimising and managing our waste.

‘It’s great to hear a number of jobs will be created during construction as well as two new full-time jobs to operate the facility and other indirect jobs through distribution, which will be a welcome boost for the Tweed,’ she said.

Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest congratulated Tweed Shire Council on its vision and investment in the facility.

‘The project will reduce landfill and utilise organic waste to create a useable resource,’ said Mr Provest.

Environmental sustainable design features included within the new facility will include a 99KW solar power system which is expected to offset 22 per cent of the facility’s power consumption. Rainwater will be captured from the roof for use within the processing operations and all wastewater generated in the processing of organics will be recycled back though the facility.

Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the facility to be in operation by mid-2021.

Soilco Pty Ltd will operate the facility for a period of 10 years. They will use ‘in vessel composting’ (processing inside a large concrete structure) which kills germs in food and garden waste so that it can then be reused as valuable compost within the Tweed.

Soilco has worked with both industry and government developing products that set benchmarks in terms of creating recycled organics that are free from pathogens and weeds, blended in an economically viable way.

The project was supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.

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