Mackay Regional Council residents create 8000 tonnes of biosolids, and it was money the council was flushing away — until now.
Mackay Regional Council residents create 8000 tonnes of biosolids, and it was money the council was flushing away — until now.

Dung deal: Council contractor to turn poo into profit

A NEW contract between Mackay Regional Council and a composting company could see them both being flush with cash - profiting off what you leave in the loo.

The new partnership with Mackay-based AJK Contracting aims to turn 5000 tonnes of green waste and 8000 tonnes of biosolids into compost.

The biosolids, or treated sewage, would be collected from the council's wastewater treatment plants and their green waste collection to make compost for agricultural use locally.

The council said the $950,000 contract would provide a "home grown" nutrient rich compost to be used by farmers.

AJK Contracting managing director Andy Kippen said the contract was a "win-win-win situation for everyone" as the natural compost was a nutrient rich and significantly cheaper alternative to synthetic fertilizers.

"With the opportunity to turn waste that others don't want, into something of value that can help our farmers as well as being better for the environment - it makes it all worth it," he said.

While some may be concerned about sewage products being used on farms, Mr Kippen said the waste treatment and recylcing industry was heavily regulated to ensure safety.

Cr Martin Bella said it was great that the waste was being turned into a much-needed product for farmers.

"Before this contract was approved, our green waste and biosolids were processed separately and our biosolids weren't being reused in our local area," he said.

"Now AJK Contracting will mix together our biosolids and green waste, to create a very high nutrient rich compost for local farmers to use."

Cr Bella said the council would save over $600,000 in the first 12 months of the new program.

An engineering and commercial infrastructure report included in the agenda for the September 11 council meeting, indicated the new project would allow council to reduce the price of each flush, with the cost of recycling waste reduced to less than $85 per tonne.

The report said the contract would allow for a 35 per cent saving in biosolids removal in the operational budget. This would allow council to invest capital into a biosolids processing facility.

AJK Contracting will commence the biosolids contract on November 1 and the green waste contract on March 1, 2020.



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