Soilco is a horticulturally focussed business, designing products for the regeneration of soil. Our team has diverse technical skills and work together to achieve desired results for our business and clients.
As a pioneer in eco-friendly gardening, Soilco has worked with both industry and government, developing products that set benchmarks in terms of creating recycled organics that are free from pathogens and weeds, and blended in an economically viable way.
Organic waste is any material that is biodegradable and comes from plants or animals. Biodegradable waste is organic material that can be broken into carbon dioxide, methane or simple organic molecules. Examples of organic waste include green waste, food waste, food-soiled paper, non-hazardous wood waste, green waste, and landscape and pruning waste.
More examples of organic waste includes biosolids, green waste, grass clippings, food waste, timber, cardboard and newspapers. Recycled, organic wastes can be extremely useful. Cardboard and newspapers are easily recycled into new paper products. The other organic wastes make composted soil conditioner, raw mulch, composted mulch, manufactured soil and potting soil, which can even produce more energy.
Since organic waste is biodegradable, it’s easily recyclable, and should never go into landfills. However, according to the Department of the Environment and Energy, in 2010-2011, 6.6 million tonnes ended up in landfill. Australia still depends heavily on landfill for waste disposal. Most waste that is not either re-used or recycled goes into landfills.
Organic waste is considered “good” because it’s not a substance as harmful as plastic, discarded electronics or aluminium that will last thousands of years. However, because degrading and breaking down as soon as it’s produced, it’s the messiest type of waste to dispose of.
Burying organic waste in landfill is a huge problem and it’s not purely due to the valuable resources we lose. When organic waste is dumped in landfill, it undergoes anaerobic decomposition (because of the lack of oxygen) and generates methane.
Organic wastes in landfills produce methane, contributing to global warming. This is dangerous, as areas with a concentration of methane can be vulnerable to destructions brought about by fire. Methane is also a greenhouse gas, one that is about 20 times more damaging than excess carbon dioxide. Accumulation of organic matter can also be an agent of pollution, especially in waterways.
These are just examples of how harmful irresponsible organic waste management is. The goal is to change the way people behave in rubbish removal and management and help them exercise responsible waste management.
Probably the most known and popular process in organic waste management is composting. Composting involves collecting organic wastes, processing them, and waiting for weeks and even months before they’re available for use. Following this, you can use the compost to enrich your plants and garden with nutrients and other natural materials. This process is particularly helpful, especially in the case of organic farming. In this way, you transform harmful organic products into a safe and valuable compost.
Composting is a way to treat solid waste so that microorganisms break down the organic material, assisting the natural process of decay until it can be safely handled, stored and applied to the environment.
The composting process requires organic waste, such as leaves, grass, fruit and vegetable scraps, soil (which contains microorganisms), water and oxygen. The microorganisms eat the organic waste, breaking it down into its simplest components. The finished compost (called humus) they produce is rich with fibre and inorganic nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, and it makes a natural fertiliser that’s beneficial to the environment. In order to produce this humus, the microorganisms need water, as do all living things, and oxygen for aerobic respiration. The microorganisms access this oxygen when you turn over the compost every day or two. In the respiration process they give off heat (temperatures of up to 150 degree Fahrenheit or 66 degrees Celsius) and carbon dioxide. If you regularly water and turn the compost in your compost bin or pile, the compost can completely decompose in just two to three weeks, otherwise it can take months to decompose.
The idea is that households and businesses can separate organic waste such as grass clippings, dead leaves, food scraps, and even paper products such as paper towels and napkins. The organic waste is then picked up by the council or other specialist company, and takes it to a centralised facility, and turns it into compost. The compost can then be sold to customers.
Recycling organics for compost creates a useful product, something that gardeners, farmers, and landscapers will be able to use in order to grow things. Organic compost provides an alternative to chemical fertilisers, which offers an incredible benefit to the environment. With the growing popularity of organically-grown food, turning organic waste into compost would seem to be a win/win situation for everyone.
Many people may perceive recycling organic waste strange. After all, it is biodegradable and doesn’t last many lifetimes however the benefit of recycling organic waste is clear and relevant to everyone.
SoilCo proudly collects organic waste and transports it to our facilities where it’s converted into compost and soil. This soil regeneration and improvement dramatically benefits our environment, becoming of use for gardeners, farmers and landscapers. Soilco’s composting processes result in high quality end use products meeting Australian and industry standards for urban, environmental and agricultural markets. This assists our environment by reducing the carbon footprint, leading to a more sustainable future.
Soilco has created a range of Garden Organic (GO) products which can be incorporated into existing soil as soil improvers, protecting the soil as a mulch, or blended with other materials to create growing media.
Products in the GO Range include: