A second award for Lismore composting facility upgrade
12 December 2016
Lismore City Council has won an award for “Outstanding local government initiative in organics collection/processing or marketing” at the recent Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) NSW Division Leadership Awards event held on Friday 2 December 2016.
The Lismore Recycling and Recovery Centre, located in far North NSW has recently expanded its organics processing facility with a grant from the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of Waste Less, Recycle More, funded from the waste levy.
With this upgrade and expansion, the existing open windrow system has been replaced with a Covered Aerated Static Pile system to process an extra 4,600 tonnes of food and garden organics waste a year.
Lismore City Council is now demonstrating state of the art organics collection and compost processing. Kerbside organics collections, including food, from Lismore and surrounding councils such as Byron, Ballina and Richmond, is processed using the new aerated floor 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.
By closing the loop, the organics recycling in Lismore is turning organics material collected from homes into nutrient-rich BIOcycle compost for local farms and backyard gardens.
Kevin Trustum, Commercial Services Business Manager at Lismore City Council said “it’s great to get the recognition for the BIOcycle project. It gives Council the opportunity to display our progress and communicate the benefits of the technology to a much wider community.”
Peter McLean, AORA Executive Officer remarked that “Lismore City Council is the first council in Australia to achieve organic certification for compost made from kerbside food and garden waste.”
The Australian Organic certification is achieved by putting in place new screening processes to remove plastics and other inorganic materials from the kerbside waste, as well as stringent product testing and cleaning/hygiene controls.
The next step will be a new bagging unit to better meet the needs of backyard gardeners who wish to purchase the compost in smaller quantities.
“You don’t need to be an organic farmer to take advantage of the end-product, which is currently available for sale per cubic metre to the local community at the recycling site,” Mr Trustum said.
The certified organic compost milestone was also recognised with a Local Government Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership and Sustainability in 2015.
The new technology is capable of processing 25,000 tonnes of food and garden organics annually and will halve composting time, allowing Council to meet the increasing demand for its 100% organic compost products.