Absolute Rubbish – What Really Happens To Our Coffs Coast Bin Waste?

Biomass Solutions Manager, Alex Guise. Photo by Andrew Vivian.


RUBBISH issues are in the news at the moment, so it might be easy to overlook some positives.

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According to representatives of Handybin Waste Services and Biomass Solutions, the companies that process our bin waste, the Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour local government areas are at the forefront of waste treatment and recycling.

Biomass solutions Manager, Alex Guise, is effusive about his company’s treatment of red and green bin waste.

“There are no other places that do this integrated separation under one roof,” he said.

The dimly lit Biomass facility has overtones of a science fiction movie.

Shredded green bin waste sits in long bays and is rapidly turned into compost by fans and sprinklers.

Red bin waste, after having large items removed, goes through magnetic and electrical processes to remove steel and aluminium.

Then, two 270-tonne autoclaves, like giant pressure cookers, reduce the volume of the remaining waste by 50%.

They also convert any organic matter into a moist, dense, black mass.

Prior to an EPA ruling, mentioned in a Coffs Coast News Of The Area article two weeks ago, this was used as a soil conditioner by farmers.

“Farmers loved it,” said Mr Guise.

“They had outstanding results by using it as a soil conditioner for sugar cane, tea tree and general pasture improvement.”

Organic material such as nappies and dirty cardboard should be placed into red bins, but there is still a significant amount of food, glass and cans that should be put in other bins.

According to Mr. Guise, if people were more responsible with their waste, “There would be massive savings for ratepayers.”

Processing bin waste is profitable because, as Mr. Guise said, “At every stage of the process we are trying to recover something of value”.

Biomass Solutions is carbon positive and earns credits through boosting its electricity with solar panels and minimising its water consumption through rainwater capture and a 10 megalitre dam.

Both waste-handling companies employ 20 people each, and Mr. Guise estimates that his company contributes six million dollars each year to the local economy.

By Andrew VIVIAN


Giant autoclaves reduce red bin waste volume by 50%. Photo by Andrew Vivian.


Red bin rubbish ready to go. Photo by Andrew Vivian.

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