Coast residents join Queensland first trial
  • Friday 04 February 2011

Composting is pretty much "old hat" to the Coast’s gardeners who have long recognised the benefits to their plants, but Sunshine Coast Council is about to take the concept to a whole new level in an exciting, Queensland-first trial.

From Monday 21 February, 500 residents in the Peregian Springs and Cooroy areas will take part in the six month food and garden waste recycling trial, which if successful will address climate change and improve Coast soils.

Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Keryn Jones said the trial had three main points of difference to traditional home composting.

"Firstly, we’ll be providing trial participants with an additional wheelie bin and collecting the food and garden waste from their homes along with their normal waste service," Cr Jones said.

"Also, we won’t just be collecting green waste; we’ll be asking residents to collect all foodstuffs including bones, meat, dairy and leftovers, which traditionally aren’t composted.

"Thirdly, the food and garden waste will be covered with a special tarpaulin, which will break the material down quickly, without odour, creating a high-grade compost product. This is a simple and affordable technology already in use overseas."

Cr Keryn Jones said that if successful this will be great news for the Coast.

"You can’t take-take-take from soil without putting nutrients back in and compost is one of the best ways to do that. Rich soil increases yield, improves plant health and reduces the need for artificial fertilisers," she said.

"But the primary reason for running this trial will help council find a simple, affordable way to get food and garden waste out of landfill—a priority as identified by the Waste Minimisation Strategy.

"Food and garden waste makes up around 50% of what goes into our landfills. It is also responsible for two thirds of council’s greenhouse gas emissions when it breaks down— these gases are a major contributor to climate change.

"We can’t just sit on our hands and wait for the impacts of climate change, we need to be proactive.

"If successful, this trial will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, provide an alternative to landfill and provide a great natural fertiliser for our soils.

"It would also give residents the ability to tackle climate change in their own homes, answering that age old question, what can I do—that’s an exciting prospect."