Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority unveils SA's first in-vessel composter at Kangaroo Island Resource Recovery Centre

The Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority officially unveiled its new in-vessel composter at the Kangaroo Island Resource Recovery Centre this week.

One key message is for KI residents to make even more use of their green bins, putting in kitchen scraps to balance out the garden clippings to make the machine function even more efficiently.

The compact in-vessel composter turns food scraps and organic garden waste into compost in 14 days, providing high quality organic products for the KI community.

Various dignitaries were invited on on Wednesday, September 23 to inspect the machine that turns organic waste such as kitchen scraps and garden clippings into rich compost.

BLACK GOLD: Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority board members Peter Denholm and Alistair Christie show off some of the "black gold" compost made by the new in-vessel composter on Kangaroo Island.

BLACK GOLD: Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority board members Peter Denholm and Alistair Christie show off some of the "black gold" compost made by the new in-vessel composter on Kangaroo Island.

The machine has been operating under the watchful eye of leading hand Brian Biddell over the last 14 months and is now getting up to speed as more residents put more kitchen scraps into their Food Organics Garden Organics FOGO green bins.

FRWA executive officers Simon Grenfell told those assembled the composter will reduce the amount of waste transported off KI to landfill and maximise the value of organic waste.

The composter was installed at the Kingscote facility by FRWA, with the support of the Kangaroo Island Council and Green Industries SA.

Kangaroo Island mayor Michael Pengilly said the KI "tip" had come a long way over the years and the new composter was a great step forward.

"It's an impressive outfit you've put together and it will be a benefit to the community," he said. "Everyone is very conscious of waste these days, there's no question.

"This certainly is a step forward for Kangaroo Island and we look forward to many years of active participation."

FRWA board member Alistair Christie from Yankallila asked about the level of contamination.

Operations manager Darren Stephens said residents on KI were doing the right thing and contamination was relatively low at about 140 litres for every three to four tonnes of green waste.

"I might point out this is the first machine in South Australia and is quite an achievement," he said. "I can't stress enough, get onto your FOGO bins."

FRWA travelled to Melbourne Zoo and Hamilton Island to research how in-vessel compost technology worked.

Clr Shirley Pledge asked it the machine could be solar powered and FRWA was looking at renewable energy and becoming self sufficient.

Islanders have already been doing their bit, increasing the amount of green waste they recycle by 68 per cent over the past 12 months.

This means less waste trucks on the ferries and a new, Island-made compost product available to improve Island soils.

An additional 132 tonnes of food organic and green organic waste has been collected by the FRWA kerbside waste collection truck over the past 12 months.

Four KI businesses - Amadio's Wine Bar, Amanda's Takeaway, Aurora Ozone Hotel and Cactus Cafe - have also been diverting their kitchen scraps to the green bins.

Over a six week period, the four businesses diverted 1.4 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The waste is put through a grinder, composted to kill any weeds and screened to produce a range of mulch and compost products that can be purchased from the KI Resource Recovery Centre on the Emu Bay Road.

The products include cottage mulch, garden blend and standard mulch and vary in price from $32 to $45 per cubic meter.

These products can add vital nutrients to your soil, reduce weed growth and improve plant development as well as promoting the circular use of materials.

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