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SOILCO Expands Footprint with Corkhill Bros Acquisition

Organics recycler SOILCO is expanding its footprint and its maxim, encouraging others to see the life-giving potential that soil holds.

Thanks to the dedication of its staff and the support of its stakeholders, SOILCO has a lot to celebrate at the end of 2023, including new contracts, an acquisition and the launch of its new brand.

In early November, SOILCO announced it had agreed to acquire Corkhill Bros (CBS), a family-owned and founded organisation with a strong presence in Canberra and southern New South Wales.

The strategic move brings together two companies with similar values and more than 100 years of combined operational experience. Together, the footprint of the organisations now extends from South-East Queensland to southern New South Wales.

The collaboration delivers a network of more than 15 sites, including greenfield developments, quarrying operations, and organics recycling facilities that are supported by distribution channels for a range of products.

Roslyn Florie-George, SOILCO Executive General Manager – Business Growth and Sustainability, says the acquisition will bring a lot of positives.

“As family-founded businesses with strong ties to the agricultural sector and a commitment to product quality, we’ve got a unique offering in the market,” Roslyn says. “Corkhill Brothers has a fantastic reputation in the Canberra market and has a lot to offer. By joining forces, we’re able to combine Corkhill’s regional experience with our in-vessel technology know-how to prepare for the next wave of source-separated organics”.

“Our combined regional network and in-vessel technology experience gives us a unique offering.”

CBS was identified as a strategic partner for SOILCO early on, as both companies were founded on the principles of environmental responsibility and ethical business practices within their respective communities. This shared ethos will continue to be a driving force as they integrate their operations and expand their reach and impact.

Roslyn says the acquisition and recent contract wins will not disrupt existing services or contracts for either company. The Corkhill family will also retain key leadership positions once the transaction is completed, ensuring continuity.

Phillip Corkhill, Managing Director of CBS, says joining forces with SOILCO will make it possible to tap into a broader pool of resources, knowledge, and experience to benefit customers and the environment. Together they’ll be able to achieve greater efficiencies and deliver the organics infrastructure needed to meet ambitious resource recovery targets.

The acquisition is another step in SOILCO’s commitment to strengthening and broadening its capabilities as a national resource recovery platform and comes on the back of several recent successes.

In November, the company officially opened its Kembla Grange Compost Manufacturing Facility (CMF) and won a $25 million tender to design, construct and operate a new Organics Processing Facility (OPF) for Bega Valley Shire Council.

The $15 million investment at Kembla Grange delivers a transformational change in SOILCO’s service offerings in the Illawarra. The infrastructure makes it possible to receive, sort, screen and process an additional 40,000 tonnes of locally generated food and garden organics into life-giving soil products with proven in-vessel composting technology.

Bega’s proposed purpose-built OPF, to be constructed at the council’s Central Waste Facility near Wolumla, will use covered aerated static pile technology and is designed with future expansion in mind.

It’s expected to be completed in 2026 and will be operated independently under a 10-year contract with capacity to extend if needed.

These infrastructure projects follow the successful completion of an in-vessel facility at Tweed, New South Wales in 2021, which was seen as the first functional piece of a new South-East Queensland and Northern Rivers network for SOILCO.

Roslyn says the Tweed facility was important to showcase SOILCO’s capability to deliver the same high value outcomes to other regions.

The diversity in SOILCO’s sites and technologies is deliberate. The network makes it possible for SOILCO to efficiently manage seasonality without compromising quality or its product range.

Roslyn says SOILCO and CBS infrastructure networks have been key to each company’s success, and the combined network will deliver further benefits to customers and the environment.

It is SOILCO’s commitment to the environment which drives its new maxim as The Life-Giving Soil Company.

See this article featured on Waste Management Review.