Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Composting on the Gulf Islands?

Australia's Lord Howe Island may have road-tested a solution for organic wastes on our Gulf Islands. Like the Gulf Islands, all of Australia is challenged with water and soil shortages. They needed a solution that feeds the earth instead of the sky.

Lord Howe Island is an independent principality of Australia, with around 300 locals and 450 vistors at any one time. It is also a world heritage listed region.

Here's what they are doing with their organic wastes. They installed (with aid from other levels of government) a Vertical Composting Unit (VCU) that employs a gravity-feed system to process 0.8 to 1.2 tonnes of organics a day to produce 0.5 - 0.75 tonnes of compost that locals use in their gardens. The VCU can handle all "putrescibles" including sewage sludge.

The composting program is part of a "cost efficient waste minimisation strategy" proposed in a comprehensive study done in the late 1990s.


Pavlos said...

Not only do they compost all the island's organic wastes, they also recover approximately 90% of the island's total waste streams by recycling, recovery or re-use through their Resource Recovery facility. Prior to the facility being installed there were many environmental issues with the island's 2000 sq metre landfill set in the sand dunes. As a World Heritage Park things had to change, so the 300 sq metre facility was put in place to achieve the best possible outcome for the island businesses & residents going forward. Congratulations to those special people who had the vision and determination to create a sustainable system for a very special place on this planet.
Go to Google Earth, look up Lord Howe Island and you'll find the facility near the airport in the dunes beside the lagoon. While there have a look at some of the amazing pix of the island.

Anonymous said...

The island 'next door', Norfolk Is has now asked the designer of the Lord Howe Is system to prepare a proposal for them to manage their organic waste sustainably utilising his new 2nd generation 'mivc' small in-vessel composting technology. Norfolk has 2000 residents and an average 800 tourists per night. Fournier