SOILCO Pty Ltd has its origin in 1974 when the Charlie Emery family commenced soil sales from their dairy property and the first truck was purchased for deliveries.
The development of an irrigation point for the supply of freshwater for the dairy property was identified and subsequently secured as a long-term soil resource.
Shoalhaven Sand Soil and Gravel was established as a corporate entity by Tony Emery and managed by he and his wife Maria. Tony Emery is a fifth-generation resident of Wogamia, a 228-hectare property on the Shoalhaven River, and now the only remaining dairy upstream of Nowra.
Composting and waste recycling operations commenced to improve the quality of soil products and minimise the use of raw soil.
SOILCO Pty Ltd was formed as the corporate umbrella for all the operations of the business. With changes to the laws in the early 1990s, there was a major statewide effort to bring existing extraction facilities up to standards that met community expectations. SOILCO worked hard to meet the standards and gain NSW and Local Government recognition. This was formalised with the 1996 granting to SOILCO of Development Approval to extract, compost and manufacture soil products at Wogamia (Shoalhaven City Council Development Consent 95/3205).
Kembla Grange distribution centre was opened to complement the manufacturing operation in Nowra and coincided with SOILCO extending its waste management services north to Whytes Gully for Wollongong City Council.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority issued an environment protection licence for composting and related activities to SOILCO. This was the first facility to receive such a licence on the NSW south coast (EPA licence number 11542). An EPA licence is required under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). Under this Act, facilities that receive over 5,000 tonnes per year of wood waste, garden waste, or natural fibrous material require a composting licence.
SOILCO achieved product certification for composts and soil conditioners (AS4454) and landscape soils (AS4419). Soil and compost manufacturers that are accredited are regularly audited to assure the guidelines for processing organics are accurately followed. The quality must be proven periodically via laboratory testing by an accredited, certified laboratory. An on-site laboratory must conduct regular testing during interim periods and all these results must be reported to the auditor.
Development approval for the Kembla Grange Organics Recycling Facility was completed and construction commenced in 2010.
SOILCO commenced collection of commercial food waste in addition to current garden and timber waste collection and processing services.
Kembla Grange transfer station was upgraded to include aerated in-vessel composting technology. ISO 9001 certification was attained.
Wogamia composting infrastructure improvements were completed with conversion of existing turn piled (windrow) composting infrastructure to a 30,000 tonnes per annum forced aeration static pile composting system for food and garden organics.
This reduced the facility’s composting footprint from 20,000 to 5,000 square metres, with improved environmental and process controls.
SOILCO was awarded a contract to design, build and operate an organics recycling facility for Tweed Shire Council in Northern NSW following its successful tender.
Kembla Grange upgrades commenced to construct a further four in-vessel composting tunnels at an adjacent site previously used for steel pipe manufacturing.
Within 2 years from approval, SOILCO delivers an in-vessel composting facility for Tweed Shire Council.