Big eaters: Leo McLean, technical representative for Triton Organic Recycling at the Lismore waste facility, with some of the 60 million red wriggler and tiger worms munching their way through organic waste derived from the rubbish tip.
Big eaters: Leo McLean, technical representative for Triton Organic Recycling at the Lismore waste facility, with some of the 60 million red wriggler and tiger worms munching their way through organic waste derived from the rubbish tip. Jacklyn Wagner

Recycling efforts not wasted

THE amount of rubbish going into Lismore’s landfill has not substantially changed since 1996, with an increase in recycling programs stopping an additional 25,000 tonnes a year being dumped.

The recently introduced ‘self-sorting’ of recyclable goods at the Lismore tip has seen a further 5 per cent increase in recycling, putting Lismore City Council – along with only two other NSW councils – in reach of meeting State Gov- ernment requirements.

“We won’t get there – no council will – but we will be close,” a waste services officer told a council workshop on Tuesday night.

Also doing their bit for the environment are the 60 million red wriggling and tiger worms at the Triton Organic Recycling facility, or worm farm, which is currently undergoing renovations.

Opened with great fanfare in 2001 by former premier Neville Wran, the worm farm at the Lismore tip is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest in the world.

Tryton’s technical representative, Leo McLean, said the company was currently researching options after its worm beds corroded.

In the meantime, the worms are left to do their thing covered by a large tarpaulin in a nearby shed.

Mr McLean said while sales of worm compost were initially hurt by the country’s decade-long drought, customers were now coming back to the product because of increased awareness about the value of soil carbon.

“Growers are now more aware of compost moisture retention qualities,” he said.

Mr McLean said the compost side of the operation, which was used on golf greens and in potting mix, was running at full capacity, while the worm farm was running at 40 per cent.

The farm purchases green and organic waste from the council’s waste services to feed the worms.



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