Armidale residents waste no time reclaiming their earth

AN INNOVATIVE program at Armidale’s waste facility has seen residents go green for compost they helped create.

The first batch of the city’s “city to soil” compost was snatched up by residents just weeks after it was ready late last year.

The second batch will be ready within the next few weeks for local residents’ and businesses’ gardens.

The compost came from residents’ green waste under the city to soil program.

Armidale Dumaresq Council’s waste and drainage manager James Turnell said they began the program  trial in September 2011 with about 200 homes.

Council provided participating homes with bags to separate organic food waste from the usual green waste, which is collected each fortnight. 

Mr Turnell said the bags then had any contaminants picked out before the waste was added to the compost mix.

He said the stacking compost system was “nothing fancy” and not that hi-tech, costing under $200,000 to set up.

It takes about 12-16 weeks to process and treat.

“We’re not in a huge rush so we just let it tick along steadily,” Mr Turnell said.

The compost is then shredded to remove chunky pieces of wood and waste.

He admitted he didn’t know the first batch would be so popular.

At only $25 a cubic metre, locals bought back 350 cubic metres of compost within weeks.

“We were expecting the compost to last a bit longer,” Mr Turnell said.

He expects the next batch to take about five more weeks.

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