A recycling program that has reduced Kings Park’s green waste to zero has been announced as the winner of a 2012 Infinity Award, acknowledging the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority as a leader in innovation and waste reduction.
A winner in each of five categories was recently announced by the Hon Bill Marmion, MLA, Minister for Environment; Water, and Marcus Geisler, Chairman of the Waste Authority. The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority won the esteemed Government Award for a new recycling program that has improved green waste efficiency and delivered a positive environmental benefit to Kings Park.
For the first time, all green waste produced in the 400 hectare Kings Park is being composted on site and recycled as mulch for use in garden areas. This has completely eliminated the need for off-site disposal of green waste.
Up to 2000 cubic metres of bulk green waste is produced annually from tree and shrub removal, pruning, weed removal and lawn mowing throughout the park. The green waste is stock-piled and hammer-milled to produce a coarse mulch that is composted in a newly created facility.
The final product meets the relevant Australian Standard for composted mulch, allowing it to be used throughout the park. Benefits include weed suppression, soil moisture retention, water conservation and improved plant growth.
A key component of the program was a scientifically based field trial to compost the material according to Australian Standard AS: 4454-2003 and test the efficiency of the process in eliminating two target pathogens harmful to plant growth. This was critical to ensure the ongoing protection of the significant plant collections in Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
The trial proved that the methodology was successful. As a result, full scale green waste composting and recycling is now performed onsite. To date, over 1,500 cubic metres of mulch has been produced under the program.
The expertise and passion of the staff involved in developing and implementing this program have been key factors in its success.