The Waste Composting Facility (WCF) processes over 80,000 tonnes of household waste from the green-topped bins per annum, which is converted to compost.
The steps in the process are as follows:
- 1Starting in the home, all household waste goes in the green-topped bin.
- 2Which is collected by the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council’s (SMRC’s) member councils for delivery to the WCF for processing.
- 3All household waste is taken to the SMRC.
- 4Household waste is spread out on the tipping floor for sorting, where large or dangerous items are removed. There are four bio-filters which filter out odours from the facility using a mixture of wood chips, organic material and natural micro-organisms.
- 5Front-end loaders push the waste onto apron feeders, which carry the material to the four digesters (giant composters).
- 6The four digesters are the largest in the southern hemisphere. They use natural bacteria and 60˚C heat to compost and kill bacteria.
- 7After 3 days in the digesters, the waste is immature compost. It’s unloaded onto a conveyor belt and carefully screened in a trommel to remove inorganic waste (such as plastic). Magnets remove metal which is collected for recycling.
- 8The immature compost is spread out in the aeration building, in which the conditions are kept humid so the composting bacteria are at their most active and effective. The compost is regularly aerated, turned and watered, to speed up the composting process.
- 9After 42 days in the aeration building, the compost is screened and filtered.
- 10Any remaining inorganic material is removed to ensure high quality compost is produced.
- 11Compost from WCF undergoes further processing at a soil additive and conditioner facility in the South West. Final product compost is used on farms, parks and gardens.