Trev’s garden brings the forest to the factory
TREVOR Murray's endearing business, Trev's Recycled Garden, has moved from its embattled West Ballina digs to a 15-acre property at Lennox Head.
On January 1, he moved into the old dog biscuit factory at 254 Ross Lane, bringing with him towering palms, an albino peahen and acres of 'rehabilitating' plants. Importantly, he leaves behind six years of bureaucratic battles with Ballina Shire Council regarding compliance.
"My new neighbours have got to be happy. I've brought the forest to the factory," he said of his recycled garden business, which now trades under Resource and Recovery Facility zoning rather than simply as a nursery as he did in Ballina.
Last year, Mr Murray was threatened with a $1.1 million fine from the council if he didn't comply with council orders including providing safe access off a major road and disabled parking.
"Ballina Council have done me a favour," said the 64-year-old Ballina man, who was on a disability pension following a heart attack when he started Trev's Recycled Garden on half an acre of industrial-zoned land in West Ballina 10 years ago.
"The Lennox site is far more suited to what I'm doing."
Mr Murray collects old unwanted plants from houses and businesses around the area. He reconditions them if needed and resells them. The idea is that instead of buying a pot with a seed in it, waiting to see if it will grow, you just buy the plant from Trev's fully grown.
"We save the trees from going in the compost, and producing methane," he said.
"I could have retired but I wouldn't know what to do sitting around an old persons home, waiting to eat dinner at 5pm. At least I've got something to do."
Unconventional Trevor and his quirky recycled garden with its resident ducks and peacocks attract celebrity Instagramers and online inquiries from around the world.
A local artist now hosts weekly art classes at the facility.