Green waste from tips to help local farms
  • Thursday 13 December 2012

Sunshine Coast Council will take another significant step in reducing its carbon footprint by supporting a project that diverts green waste from Coast tips to use as compost or mulch on local farms.

The Sunshine Coast Enhanced Compost Project is a three year program that aims to divert organic residues from landfills to use on sugar cane, macadamia and olive farms in the region. It was launched in Beerwah today.

South East Queensland Catchments is driving the project, which is funded through the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.

Council’s Environment Portfolio Councillor Tony Wellington said the project was in line with council’s Waste Minimisation Strategy 2009-2014, which shows a need to divert organic waste from landfill to help reduce carbon emissions.

"Council already has processes in place to separate out the green waste coming to landfill sites, and we currently provide an optional green waste bin service for residents," Cr Wellington said.

"However, the challenge we face is to find viable long-term uses for the organic materials that are diverted from landfill.

"Organic material in landfill generates methane gas when it decomposes – and this landfill gas emission currently accounts for about 76 per cent of council’s total carbon emissions.

"Not only will this project allow us to divert green waste and reduce our carbon footprint, but hopefully the compost will replace some artificial fertilisers used on farms in the area.

"It is also fantastic to see local farmers and growers embracing this project and keen to be working together toward a healthier environment for the Coast."

Under this project, organic waste separated at council’s waste facilities will be composted and available for local farmers who have signed up to the program.

A locally produced biological nitrogen enhancer, TwinN, is used in the compost, providing bacteria and further reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.

Compost and mulch used on the farms is also expected to boost root growth and improve soil health and productivity bringing benefits to growers.