Waste cut, work made by project

Charlie Emery, Michael McMahon, Terry Harkness and Peter Masterson inspect the completion of IRIIF funded work that has doubled the composting capacity at Soilco's organics recycling facility at Kembla Grange. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Charlie Emery, Michael McMahon, Terry Harkness and Peter Masterson inspect the completion of IRIIF funded work that has doubled the composting capacity at Soilco's organics recycling facility at Kembla Grange. Picture: GREG ELLIS

In April 2012, Soilco was a successful grant recipient in the first round of the Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund.

The funding went to supply the electricity to a project that allowed the company to double the processing capacity of its organics recycling facility at Kembla Grange.

With the project milestones completed, Soilco general manager Charlie Emery took AusIndustry regional manager Peter Masterson and deputy state manager Michael McMahon on a tour of the project site on Tuesday to see the outcomes first hand.

What they saw was a project that was good for the environment and had created employment.

Mr Emery said the project was to upgrade the company's organics recovery facility at Reddalls Road, Kembla Grange.

"The CAPEX for the project was $1.248 million," he said, "$623,600 from Soilco and $623,600 from AusIndustry.

"The project created an additional 10 full-time jobs in the Illawarra between July 2012 to February 2014."

As a result of the funding the processing capacity of the organics recovery facility has been doubled.

That means its ability to divert organics from landfill has dramatically increased.

As a result, new organics processing contracts have been secured with councils and businesses throughout the Illawarra and Sydney.

There are also many flow-on effects from turning waste that previously went to landfill into compost.

Additional investment is now set to occur at the site over the next 12 months, with the processing plant to be covered by a 2000-square-metre building.

Mr Emery said additional funding and investment had been made possible as a result of the upgraded processing capacity and subsequent contracts. But there is potential for further expansion and jobs.

Wollongong City Council is set to trial a combined food and garden waste collection as part of a new contract starting on July 1.

Further upgrades are planned to enclose the building and install innovative aeration infrastructure, which was trialled as part of the project.

Mr Emery said that would assist the council in undertaking the trial and possibly rolling out the new service to make for a more environmentally friendly city.

Mr Masterson said it was great for AusIndustry to be involved in funding a project that was such a win-win for the community by creating jobs and reducing waste.

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