Facts about compost
Compost is vital to Australia’s land health and achieving a circular economy
There are four key qualities that drive excellence and value for end users when it comes to compost.
- Diverse feedstocks
- Strict vetting
- Increased beneficial ingredients
- Reduced risk of contaminants
Advanced processing methods
- Appropriate composting timeframes (ie 12 weeks)
- Careful management (eg airation, temperature, mixing)
- Increased nutrient availability
- Improved water retention
- Eliminated weed seeds
- Proactive, thorough testing
- Compliance to state and national guidelines
- Maximum product safety, stability and maturity
- Fit-for-purpose compost
- Use of recycled organics
- Minimisation or avoidance of virgin material inputs
- Improved waste management
- Improved community health
We encourage clients to assess compost manufacturers on these four key qualities. Compost offers significant benefits for improving Australia’s land health and is a critically important industry for our country.
What is compost
Compost is organic matter that has been through a controlled process of natural aerobic decomposition. In Australia, much of the organic matter used to manufacture compost includes green, food, biosolid and other organic waste feedstocks. When compost is made to high quality standards, it can be used in a number of applications – from homes to major landscaping projects to primary industries and more. Compost also offers benefits such as:
- Improved soil structure and depth
- Conservation of soil moisture
- Improved water infiltration
- Increased nutrient levels within soil
- Improved soil health
- Suppression of diseases
- Reduced need for fertilisers and pesticides
- Improved root and plant growth
How is compost made
At NuGrow, we accept more than 30 different waste streams (feedstocks). We have a stringent risk assessment process for these. Some are simple, like green waste. However, where a waste stream is more complex, we review additional information, such as laboratory test results, to ensure the feedstock meets our allowed limits. Our commitment to compliance means we only accept authorised waste streams determined to be safe.
Waste streams come from a variety of waste generators, like treatment tank sludges from industrial plants, grease trap waste from food retailers, green waste from transfer stations, and directional drilling mud and water from the resources sector. After receiving compost feedstocks, a quality recycling process can take three months.
Compost that is responsibly made and compliant is a far better environmental solution that is much safer for our communities than the alternative – redirecting those waste streams to landfills.
Does the quality of compost vary
Compost is similar to any manufactured product in that quality varies from supplier to supplier. The main two contributing factors that dictate the quality of compost are the type/composition of inputs and the composting methodology followed (eg turning frequency, moisture control, temperature control).
As part of our commitment to quality, we employ the most rigorous testing regime in Queensland to ensure we only recycle appropriate feedstocks and that all products we manufacture are compliant with state and national guidelines. Our clients and their customers can be confident our compost is safe. We comply with AS4454, which is Australia’s highest standard for compost.
Why is compost important to Australia
Australia has major challenges in relation to erosion control, waterway catchment health, depleted agricultural soil, climate change and more. High-quality compost contributes to addressing those issues. NuGrow’s business revolves around keeping waste streams out of landfill by safely converting them into beneficial products that put value back into the environment and our communities.
We were founded 18 years ago on the idea that we can do much more for our environment by recycling waste rather than sending it – unsustainably – to landfill. We use waste streams to create beneficial products like composts and soil conditioners. As they are made to the highest standards, and comply with regulations, they represent a far better environmental outcome than sending those waste streams to landfill.
Our company is all about environmental sustainability. Our purpose statement is healthier environments for healthier communities, globally. We offer the entire circular economy model of waste transportation, recycling, product supply and then revegetation. This is the most sustainable approach to waste and land management for Australia.
What’s the role of government
NuGrow strongly supports scrutiny of the waste industry and welcomes the Department of Environment and Science’s focus on good practice. We have actively advocated for greater regulation of our industry for years. We welcome the Queensland Government demonstrating leadership through environmental solutions, stewardship, education and stronger regulation, supported by initiatives like an improved waste strategy for the State.