Innovative project boosts monsoon recovery and cuts costs

Date published: 31 January 2020

Seven hundred tonnes of organic matter drained from Townsville lakes is being transformed into a rich topsoil that will help revive monsoon-damaged gardens and lawns.

Townsville City Council is working with three local businesses to recycle waste and drastically reduce dumping costs.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Russ Cook said the innovative approach has a number of benefits.

“The lakes on Golf Links Drive at Kirwan had become congested with weeds and sediment – and the monsoon made the problem much worse,” Cr Cook said.

“When the lakes have been drained in the past we’ve had to pay to dump it at landfills so this project is saving us almost $60,000 in disposal costs.

“The high grade top soil its producing is incredibly valuable and this approach will help Council infrastructure recover from the monsoon.”

Cr Cook said the transformation of the organic matter involves four steps.

“The material from the lakes has been taken to a local landscaping company, where it is dried and mixed with high quality mulch,” Cr Cook said.

“The mulch is sprayed with microbes to accelerate the process and it is left to compost naturally for six months.”

Cr Cook said final product will help people in flooded areas.

“The humisoil that is produced will help rehabilitate any soil that was exposed to salt water during the monsoon,” Cr Cook said

“From a Council point of view it could be used in flood recovery projects – the humisoil is a very valuable resource and this project shows what we can achieve in Townsville when people work together.”