Australian Native Landscapes, in Cooranbong, has received a state government grant of $480,360 for machinery that will enable it to more efficiently process organic waste.
ANL’s Matthew Dugas said the new machinery would dramatically reduce the amount of organic waste from the site that would otherwise end up in landfill.
The circuit of machinery, known as a reclaimer, would include a wind sifter and shaker, a vacuum to remove plastics from the organic waste, and a magnate to remove metals.
“We’re also investing a further $2.5 million in upgrades including concrete leachate tanks with mechanical aeration,” Mr Dugas said.
The new infrastructure would improve the efficiency of the operation and boost environmental outcomes, including reducing odour from the site, he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, toured the site with Lake Macquarie Liberal councillors Jason Pauling and Kevin Baker on Friday.
Mr MacDonald said the funding had been provided through the Organic Infrastructure Grants program which supported waste operators to help manage organic waste sustainably.
“Through Organic Infrastructure Grants, the NSW Liberal National government is working with councils and businesses to tackle organic and food waste at a community level,” Mr MacDonald said.
ANL typically acquires 20,000 tonnes of organic waste annually, of which about 14,000 tonnes would be extracted after processing for resale as a range of horticultural products including mulch, compost and top dressing.
The 6000 tonnes balance would end up in landfill.
With the installation of the reclaimer, almost all of the 20,000 tonnes would be salvaged for re-use, “reducing a lot of environmental concerns,” Mr Dugas said.
ANL was one of 15 projects in NSW to share in more than $5 million under the round of funding in the program, Mr MacDonald said.
“These projects together will increase NSW’s organics waste processing capacity by more than 83,700 tonnes, ensuring less food and garden waste ends up in landfill,” Mr MacDonald said.
Member for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper, said he was belatedly told of the site inspection and grant announcement, and wasn’t aware of the details of ANL’s successful grant application.
He said he was “bemused” by the funding which he said seemed “quite unusual”.
“It certainly seems very generous for a company that is profitable,” Mr Piper said.
Referring to the odour problems that had dogged the site, Mr Piper said he hoped the new infrastructure would improve the amenity for nearby residents.