Council to get innovative with organic waste

Published on 28 May 2024

Ultima Compost facility

Swan Hill Rural City Council is pleased to be launching an innovative organic waste project.

Council’s acting Director Infrastructure, Laura O’Dwyer said Council had acquired a parcel of land adjacent to the former landfill, from GrainCorp that is now the focal point for this ambitious organic waste project.

“Ultima’s former landfill ceased operations in 2013 and has since functioned solely as a transfer station.

“Please rest assured that there will be no changes to the function of the Ultima Transfer Station,” Ms O’Dwyer assured residents.

Ms O’Dwyer said residents may have recently observed activity within the vicinity of the Ultima landfill site, prompting curiosity about developments.

“A new chapter is unfolding as the newly acquired parcel of land is transformed into a cutting-edge organics processing facility,” she said.

“This initiative, a joint effort between Swan Hill Council, Sustainability Victoria, and the Federal Government, aims to establish a small-scale organics processing facility.

“Clearing of the site has commenced, with earthworks scheduled for completion by June. Procurement of essential machinery and equipment is underway, with full operational readiness expected by year's end, including initial processing trials.

“This project marks the beginning of a significant council-led trial, designed to address organic waste management challenges in the region.

While not the first composting initiative in Swan Hill, this project distinguishes itself by focusing on local waste management needs and collaboration with diverse funding partners,” she added.

Ms O’Dwyer said that the compost facility promised a range of benefits for the wider Swan Hill community, including alignment with sustainability goals, resource recovery, enhanced soil health, landfill space conservation, and reduction of harmful landfill gas emissions.

For further information please contact Council’s Waste and Resource Recovery Team at 03 5036 2333.


Q: Where does the compost come from?

A: The compost is derived from organic waste processed at the facility.

Q: Will the facility be open to the public?

A: While primarily an operational facility, details regarding public access will be communicated in due course.

Q: Does this mean Council will roll out an organic/food waste bin for the shire?

A: The State Government has mandated that all Victorian Councils must provide to its residents a four-waste stream service, this includes:

  • General waste
  • Recycling (no glass)
  • Food organics - Garden organics (FOGO) by 2030
  • Separate glass service by 2027.

Swan Hill Rural City Council is still in the process of determining what this might look like for residents and to align with these changes, Council is drafting a Waste Management Strategy to guide waste and recovery services over the next ten years.

Click here to find out more about the Waste Management Strategy

Q: What are some of the benefits this project will have for the wider Swan Hill community?

A: The compost facility project in Swan Hill promises several significant benefits for the wider community:

  • Alignment with Sustainability Goals: The project aligns perfectly with Recycle Victoria's objectives of fostering a more sustainable circular economy. By diverting organic waste from landfills and converting it into compost, the initiative contributes to reducing waste and promoting resource efficiency.
  • Resource Recovery: Currently, organic waste in the region is either sent to landfill or incinerated, resulting in valuable resources being lost. By establishing a compost facility, these organic materials can be recovered and transformed into a valuable commodity, thus minimising waste and maximising our resources.
  • Improved Soil Health: The compost produced from organic waste can be used to enhance soil health. By returning nutrients to the soil through compost application, agricultural productivity can be boosted, benefiting the local farming community. This aspect is particularly crucial for a region like Swan Hill, which relies heavily on agriculture.
  • Landfill Space Conservation: Diverting organics from landfills not only reduces waste but also extends the lifespan of existing landfill sites by saving valuable airspace. This conservation of landfill space is essential for managing waste disposal sustainably in the long term.
  • Reduction of Harmful Landfill Gas: By decreasing the volume of organic waste in landfills, the project helps mitigate the production of harmful landfill gases, such as methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change, and reducing its emissions aligns with broader environmental goals.



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