Lake Macquarie wins award for sports field regeneration program using compost 

Lake Macquarie AORA NSW award 2016
Caption: Duncan Le Good, SUEZ; Paul Lamble, Senior Sustainable Living Officer, Lake Macquarie City Council; Gerard Young, Works Coordinator, Parks, Lake Macquarie City Council; Greg Horvath, Section Manager CiviLake Services, Lake Macquarie City Council.

10 January 2017

Lake Macquarie City Council was highly commended in the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) NSW Division Leadership Awards on December 2 in the category ‘Compost User Demonstrating Innovation in Amenity Markets’ for its innovative project that uses compost to improve the quality of Lake Macquarie sports fields.

Over the past 4 years, Council has been undertaking a “compost trial” which involved using compost as part of a sports field renovation works program. The purpose of the trial was to prepare Council for utilising compost product generated from residents’ household organics in its operations, including sports field works.

The improved sports field amenity achieved by implementing this rejuvenation program using compost made from garden organics increases longevity and reduces maintenance requirements. The playing fields now have lower compaction and higher water use efficiency contributing to Council’s sustainability targets.

A key strategy for Lake Macquarie City Council to recover organics from the waste streams sent to landfill is to introduce food waste to the existing kerbside garden waste collection service. Council has received a Local Government Organics Collection Systems grant from the NSW EPA under Waste Less, Recycle More for their All food scraps are good to Go! project. This is Lake Macquarie's answer to improved green waste processing and collection systems and is supported, in part, by one of two grants totalling $2,085,250 awarded as part of the Waste Less, Recycle More Grants Program.

The introduction of the kerbside organics service, where food waste will go in the green waste bin along with garden waste, will commence when the construction of a composting facility is completed. The facility forms part of the Organics Infrastructure grant awarded by the NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More program. The facility will utilise three aerobic composting methods: enclosed tunnel, aerated static pile, and static pile composting and will process up to 44,000 tonnes of organics per annum into Australian Standard AS4454 compost, mulch and soil conditioner. Council has committed to take some of the high-quality mulch and compost for continued use in its operations, including sports fields works.

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