Eugene Coe and Cecil Coe, WCC Groundswell Team Leaders with first batch of finished compost, prior to screening, Condobolin, Feb 2009
Groundswell, an Urban Sustainability Grant project led by Goulburn-Mulwaree Council, aims to establish the practical and economic viability of composted urban organic waste as a high quality, cost effective agricultural fertiliser. With a $2 million grant from the NSW Environmental Trust, the Council and its project partners Queanbeyan City, Palerang and Lachlan Shire Councils are taking organic waste out of the cities for use on farm land, simultaneously reducing the volume of organic waste sent to landfill and increasing organic levels in agricultural soils.
Food and garden waste is being collected for composting at a rate of 1,440 tonnes per year from 1,300 households in Condobolin and 9,200 households in the Goulburn-Mulwaree area. A successful communication strategy and education program has resulted in a high level of commitment from the community and low rates of contamination in the collected waste.
The project is also helping to identify the economic benefits of using compost made from recycled organics in agriculture and develop a permanent market for recycled urban organics. Trials using composted urban organic waste started in May 2009 at farm sites at Condobolin, Goulburn and Palerang.
The Groundswell project is providing an innovative example of local organics management. The Goulburn composting site has received regular visits from interested Councils and composting businesses from as far away as Ipswich in Queensland. The project is due for completion in late 2010.
To find out more about the Environmental Trust visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/envtrust.htm or www.groundswellproject.blogspot.com