A local business which designs and builds organics recycling facilities has been approved to increase their operations, providing for the processing of up to 78,000 tonnes a year of food organics and garden organics (FOGO).
Operating in the Shoalhaven since the 1980s, SOILCO will increase operations at its Wogamia Organics Recycling Facility.
SOILCO Managing Director Charlie Emery said the Wogamia facility has been the foundation of the business, being the first on the South Coast to receive an Environment Protection Licence for composting and related activities from the NSW EPA over 20 years ago.
"SOILCO enables processing of food and garden waste for a number of local government areas and their households across New South Wales," said Mr Emery.
"We have just opened a $7 million Organics Processing Facility for Tweed Shire Council in collaboration with the NSW Government.
"The enclosed, in vessel composting facility provides industry best practice for the Northern Rivers of NSW and will process up to 25,000 tonnes per annum of food and garden waste into quality-assured compost and soil health products."
The approval for Wogamia provides a similar opportunity for delivery of further infrastructure in the Shoalhaven.
Tweed is a similar population to the Shoalhaven and is located next to low-cost landfill operations.
"Our delivery model is a competitive solution for Council compared to landfill. It ensures more food waste can be recycled, less waste is transported, and valuable compost can be manufactured for local soil health projects," said Mr Emery.
SOILCO's in-vessel composting processes and technologies enable Councils to save on transport costs by processing FOGO in strategic locations.
"The construction side of SOILCO developed due to the nature of our business and unique operating requirements," said Mr Emery.
"As an experienced operator, we understand how composting facilities need to be designed and built to work.
"Local suppliers, contractors and materials are sourced for local investment, boosting local jobs. The new Tweed facility has a number of environmentally sustainable features including a 99KW solar power system to offset energy consumption.
"We are also investing in anerobic digestion to further off set our electricity use."
The family business now employs over 60 full-time staff with sites throughout the state at Wogamia, Nowra, Kembla Grange and Stotts Creek.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.