Compost sales on hold until further notice

Thursday, 11 July

Lismore City Council has temporarily stopped compost sales until further notice.

Council will only sell top-quality compost products that meet strict EPA guidelines. At present, a higher than usual level of contamination (plastic and glass) has been coming through household green bins. To ensure this contamination is completely eradicated, the compost needs to undergo additional processing.

“It’s very disappointing as compost is in high demand,” Council's Commercial Services Business Manager Danielle Hanigan said.

“We want to remind all Northern Rivers residents to only put food and garden waste into green organics bins. The effect of putting other materials into green bins is quite serious and impacts the whole composting process, as we must reprocess and retest the material.

“It is important we are stringent in following the EPA guidelines and ensuring our product is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, when people don’t do the right thing, it can lead to a stop in supply. We take great pride in being able to create a high quality compost product for our customers, so it is very disappointing when we are unable to do this.”

Lismore has a closed loop organics system where food and garden waste is collected from household green bins and then composted for resale to local gardeners, farmers and orchardists.

Lismore’s composting facility processes the food and garden waste for Ballina, Byron, Richmond Valley and Lismore City councils, so this is something that concerns everyone across the Northern Rivers.

The system relies on people placing only food and garden waste in their green organics bins.

“This is something that is usually not a problem. Our extensive education campaigns over many years have worked really well,” Danielle said.

“We urge people to be conscious of what they are placing in their green bins as this is a system that only works if we all participate. Green organics bins are only for food and garden waste – no plastic or glass should ever be placed in these bins.

“This will be a focus of further education campaigns in the near future and we are also putting additional operational measures in place to deal with the problem. But the first step is reminding people to be aware of what they are putting in their green bins at home – this makes all the difference.”

Council will continue processing the compost over coming weeks and will advise the community once there is compost ready for sale.


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