Founded as a family-owned and operated organics recycling business in New South Wales in the 1970s, organics processor SOILCO has enabled like-minded councils and commercial customers to decarbonise their operations and services for more than 35 years.
Transforming organic resources into quality-assured products that benefit Australian communities and the environment is in SOILCO’s DNA.
Charlie Emery, SOILCO Managing Director says that as an organics processor, SOILCO has kept hundreds of thousands of tonnes of valuable organic resources out of landfill – a win-win for the climate and the economy.
“While we continue to help our customers on their paths to net-zero, we are also working towards our own key climate change objective across all of SOILCO’s operations: to be net-zero by 2030.”
A proposed new net-zero Compost Manufacturing Facility in Western Sydney for source separated organics is key to SOILCO’s carbon objective and vision for the future.
The facility reflects SOILCO’s key sustainability drivers – to design, build and operate state-of-the-art organics recycling facilities that meet the soil improvement needs of Eastern Australian communities.
The SOILCO Infrastructure Delivery and Planning team is now nearing the completion of the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed development.
New city, new facility
Capable of processing 180,000 tonnes per annum, the Western Sydney facility will service residents and businesses in Australia’s newest city – Bradfield City Centre.
Bradfield will be located on the doorstep of Western Sydney’s airport and is destined to become Sydney’s third city centre.
Charlie says that by building the facility within the aerotropolis, organic waste can be safely and sustainably processed close to the source. It will provide a cost-effective recycling solution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from regional landfills and long-distance haulage. It will also provide a quality-assured supply of soil amendment products for urban landscaping and amenity markets.
“Returning compost to communities that have gone to the effort of source separating their organics is a tangible way to show the positive impacts that small, everyday actions can have on climate change,” he says.
“Simple messages about source separation and reducing contamination become powerful education tools when you can see and touch the end product in your home garden or local sports field.”
The Bradfield facility is uniquely placed to help the new region to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
Net zero partners
After receiving Planning Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the compost facility in June 2022, SOILCO performed a rigorous procurement process to select technology partners for the project.
Construction Equipment Australia (CEA), in partnership with Thöni Industriebetriebe GmbH (Thöni), have been engaged as infrastructure partners to deliver the Anaerobic Digestion technology component of the project.
“This is a critical milestone for the facility as our net-zero objective is now a giant leap closer to becoming a reality,” Charlie says.
CEA is a leading distributor of equipment across Australia and New Zealand. As a family-owned business with more than 300 employees, it has been operating for more than 40 years and is a part of the CFC Group of Companies. With its world-renowned technology and equipment partners, CEA delivers in-vessel composting and anaerobic digestion with fully integrated pre and post treatment systems.
Thöni Industriebetriebe GmbH, is active in various business areas including environmental and energy technology, as well as machine and plant construction, focusing on growth and sustainable development. For more than 30 years the business unit Thöni Environmental Engineering has been developing and building biogas plants to produce bioenergy from organic waste. Currently there are more than 150 Thöni AD plants in operation in throughout Europe as well as in China.
soilco facilitySean Galdermans, CEA’s Environmental Solutions Division Manager says that partnering with Thöni enables CEA to offer industry a proven and high-tech anaerobic digestion solution.
“The partnership between CEA and Thöni combines the best of two family-owned businesses. Thöni’s proven digestion technologies, extensive market experience and a solid track record make them the ideal partner for projects of this nature.”
Charlie says the CEA and Thöni team provides a platform for high-tech organic waste treatment infrastructure that is environmentally sound and sustainable.
CEA / Thöni’s technology will generate more than 6 GWh/a of electricity. This renewable energy source, coupled with an extensive solar array, will power all composting operations on site, creating a truly net-zero organics waste processing solution for Bradfield.
“We believe that the Bradfield facility will set the benchmark for organics processing facilities around Australia and the world,” Charlie says.
“Our mission has and always will be to transform organic resources into products that regenerate and enhance the health and productivity of soil. By selecting CEA /Thöni as our anaerobic digestion partner, we are confident that Bradfield, as well as all existing and future SOILCO facilities, will deliver upon this mission and enable us to achieve our decarbonisation goals.”
This article originally appeared in Waste Management Review. Click the link to read the article.