Preliminary Concept Designs

Subject to change following completion of detailed concept design

What is a Tunnel Composting System and the benefits

Tamworth Regional Council has identified a suitable type of organic processing technology called a Tunnel Composting System. The process of Tunnel Composting involves the treatment of batched organic products in fully enclosed long ventilated composting tunnels for up to four weeks. Each tunnel operates independently from other tunnels, which allows the Operator more control over the desired processing duration and resultant end product i.e. high grade mulch product vs soil conditioner.

Ventilation within each tunnel is achieved by the incorporation of fans within the structure. To maintain hydration of the material during processing, a water spray system is installed to regulate heat and maintain optimal moisture content of the compost output material.

The advantage of a Tunnel Composting System over other Composting processes includes:

  • Improved aeration and water sprays resulting in faster composting process and improved temperature control;
  • Improved monitoring and control;
  • Reduced requirement for turning and associated time and fuel costs;
  • Reduced timeframes related to the composting process itself;
  • Larger amounts of organic products can be processed at a time;
  • Better control of electricity (reduced energy usage per cubic meter of compost produced) and water usage through technology controls of the aeration system.

Proposed Location

Proposed Location

The proposed location for the development of the Organic Recycling Facility is located at 284 Gidley Appleby Road, Gidley, approximately 15km north-west of Tamworth’s City Centre.

Proposed Site Layout - subject to change following detailed concept design


Currently, Tamworth Regional Council’s processing and composting of organic material is restricted to green waste only at the Forest Road Waste Management Facility. The Composting Facility is licensed with the Environment Protection Authority and processes approximately 15,000 tpa of green waste to produce a high-grade mulch product. The current operational footprint of the Composting Facility has reached maximum processing and storage capacity and additional organic waste stream materials, such as food organics and commercial products are currently being landfilled. It is estimated that these additional organic waste streams could be in the order of up to 10,000tpa.

This Project aims to divert organic materials from being landfilled, process these products at a new purpose-built facility, utilising Tunnel Composting System to produce an end product, which may include a range of high-grade mulch, compost and soil conditioners for use by local residents, businesses and for commercial and industrial uses.

This facility, once commissioned will provide the Tamworth region with the first Organic Recycling Facility, suitable to process up to 35,000tpa of a range of organic materials, including: Food and Garden organics and Category 3 organics. Category 3 organics incorporate meat, fish and fatty foods, fatty and oily sludge’s and organics of animal and vegetable origin. There is consideration for expansion of the facility’s processing capacity to 50,000tpa in the future as the growth of Tamworth region and associated industry expands.

Proposed Working Hours

The proposed hours for construction are from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays if required.

Following construction, it is proposed that the Organic Recycling Facility would be operated on behalf of Tamworth Regional Council by a specialist Operator with approximately 6 on-site staff and the operational hours are expected to be 8am to 4:45pm Monday to Sunday.

Other Information

This Project is considered to be a Designated Development and as such, will be subject to a Development Application to be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel. As part of the Development Application process, an Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared for public exhibition 30 September through to 28 October 2019.

Organic Plant

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