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Composter Profile

SOILCO

Team Compost Connect, 20 April 2022
SOILCO

How did Soilco begin?

SOILCO commenced operations in 1984 as Shoalhaven Sand Soil & Gravel and the current structure formulated in 1992 to encompass recycling, manufacturing and transport business units.

SOILCO recycling (composting) operations followed in 1985 to improve the quality of sand and soil products produced at the company’s Wogamia site and has been composting a wide range of organic inputs ever since.

SOILCO has progressed from being primarily a producer of extracted materials from its Nowra operations at located at “Wogamia” to being a leader in the organic waste industry. SOILCO is a producer of organic soil improvers, providing quality assured soil, compost, and mulch products to a variety of end markets.

Composting organic materials at home and in large-scale facilities is part of a growing trend in Australia to better manage and re-use organic material. How does Soilco fit into Australia’s composting story?

Since starting in 1974 as a family company – and with a background in farming – SOILCO has developed a deep and first-hand understanding of issues such as soil fertility and water management.

As a pioneer in eco-friendly gardening, 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, and blended in an economically viable way.

We are totally committed to ensuring our products are certified as meeting the relevant Australian Standards – and are environmentally friendly, safe, effective and innovative.

SOILCO is a founding member of the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) – the industry leader in organic recycling.

Why do you do what you do? What is your mission and vision for the future?

SOILCO manage state of the art organics recycling facilities that produce innovative and worlds’ best products and services that meet all the soil improvement needs of all Eastern states of Australia.

As a compost collection partner, Soilco is facilitating the waste collection and commercial composting of food waste and BioPak compostable packaging. What happens after the waste is collected? What does the composting process look like at Soilco?

The composting process:

SOILCO-Household-FOGO-System

Have you had to adapt your processes to accept BioPak products?

No.

Do you have to maintain any standards or certifications for the compost?

The material is composted in accordance with AS4454-2012 (Composts, Soil Conditioners and Mulches) according to SOILCO Australian Standard certified best practice management program.

The SOILCO process control system regulates the production of its products containing source separated organics. The process control system aims to ensure that best management practices are adopted and all measures are taken to minimise risks.  By following these procedures, products of consistently high quality can be produced. The composting process eliminates plant propagules, plant and animal pathogens and any phytotoxicity and nutrient problems.

At the end of the process, what kinds of soil are produced, and where do they end up?

  • Composts – soil improvers
  • Mulches – timber mulches
  • Soils – premium and blends

 
SOILCO’s recycled organics are composted and graded into various sizes to be incorporated into existing soil as a mulch or blended with other materials to create growing media.

How much compost do you produce in a year?

Approximately 70,000 tonnes.

SOILCO-Compost

How do you manage the risk of contamination to organic waste? ie non-compostable waste making its way into the waste collection bin.

  • SOILCO accepts source-separated organic wastes only
  • SOILCO works to contamination allowances – loads are rejected if they exceed those allowances
  • Decontamination processes are in place
SOILCO-Team

Who are your major customers?

SOILCO products are sold through a variety of channels, including:

  • Resellers – Distributors, Wholesalers and Landscape Suppliers
  • Councils – sports field and public space rejuvenation projects
  • End users – landscapers, large scale civil and landscape companies

What are some of the challenges with composting?

  • Contamination via mixed inputs
  • Odour control
  • Leachate management
  • Temperature management during the composting process

What is the best way for people to advocate for commercial composting in their city?

Encourage councils to implement a FOGO scheme

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