SOILCO has received approval for an increase in operating capacity at its Wogamia Organics Recycling Facility to continue with and increase its current quarrying and composting operations.
The approval provides for processing of up to 78,000 tonnes a year of food organics and garden organics (FOGO).
The local family business has been operating in the Shoalhaven region since the 1980s when the Emery family began selling soil from a dairy property. The second-generation family business now employees over 60 full-time employees with sites throughout the state at Wogamia, Nowra, Kembla Grange and Stotts Creek.
SOILCO Managing Director Charlie Emery said the Wogamia facility has been the foundation stone of the business and was the first on the NSW South Coast to receive an Environment Protection Licence for composting and related activities from the NSW EPA over 20 years ago.
“Today, SOILCO enables processing of food and garden waste for a number of local government areas and their households across New South Wales,” Charlie said.
“We have just opened a $7million 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.”
An $8million infrastructure works program is underway at SOILCO’s Kembla Grange organics processing facility, due for completion in February next year. The facility will provide further processing capacity to Wollongong City Council following an introduction of a new Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside service in 2020.
“The works commenced in July 2020 and on completion, the increase in processing capacity will allow for 35,000 tonnes a year of FOGO materials to remain in Kembla Grange for manufacture into finished soil health products.”
SOILCO’s in-vessel composting processes and technologies enable Councils to save on logistics and 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,” Charlie said. “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,” Charlie said. “We are also investing in anerobic digestion to further off set our electricity use.”
SOILCO’s new in-vessel composting facilities are shown in this computer-generated video: