Home Business Oreco ramps up green waste production

Oreco ramps up green waste production

Oreco Amber Gilbert
Oreco Group’s Amber Gilbert with shavings created from recycled logs and processed into products including stock feed and bedding.

A $20.8 million extension to Oreco Group’s cane mulch producing factory near Isis Central Sugar Mill is now ramping up production of additional products based largely on recycled timber.

The factory is Australia’s largest producer of garden enhancement products and the expansion, completed earlier this year, is enabling a quadrupling of the factory’s production capacity.

Amber Gilbert, assistant to managing director, Paul Woolsey said at capacity the factory was producing a bagged item every second, and a baled item every two seconds. “That’s nearly 50 million packaged products per year,” she said.

“The factory extensions have incorporated machinery that now enable us to produce a larger range of products which involve components like recycled timber.

“We are actively seeking out this timber resource which allows us to transform waste or end of life materials into animal care products such as bedding and home gardening products like potting mixes, mulches, fertilisers, bark, and composts.

“To maintain production we are sourcing timber with no commercial value from state forests, sawmills and businesses which have items like wooden pallets for disposal.

“Rather than see these and other green waste materials end up occupying valuable space in landfills we are encouraging businesses to contact us to discuss disposal.”

Amber said the composting of garden mixes was done on a site adjacent to Oreco’s factory on Kevin Livingston Drive.

“There are hundreds of tonnes of material in heaped rows which are transitioning through the composting stage prior to being utilised in end products.”

Oreco mega bales
Australia’s largest fibre drying plant is located at Oreco. Also pictured are the new 220kg mega bales, another first for the company.

Managing director Paul Woolsey said the demand for garden products such as mulch and potting mix has ‘gone through the roof’ during COVID-19 as people look to gardening as an activity to cope with pandemic restrictions.

“Through our new production areas, we are manufacturing product for major brands in Australian garden care, utilising these excellent timber resources, which are composted, blended and packaged to our customers individual requirements.

“One of the advantages of the new factory expansion is that we have installed Australia’s largest fibre drying equipment which allows us to take product from the field, dry it, blend it and bale it all in a single day,” said Paul.

“Recently we produced our first mega bale which is a premier stock feed. The bales weigh 220 kilos and contain 3.2 cubic metres of compressed fibre product. Our latest trial of premium, heat treated pine shavings was a game changer with 4.7 cubic metres of compressed product per bale.”

Mr Woolsey said the Oreco Group was proud of the range of products produced essentially from local raw materials.

“We are also proud of the fact that we are looking to sustainable practices and the ongoing use of recycled materials in our production process.

“The output from this factory employs well over 60 locals and the goods are transported around Australia.

“It’s satisfying to see that 10 years of development has resulted in the addition of a successful major industry for the Bundaberg Region,” Mr Woolsey said.

Oreco timber
Damian Robinson prepares to install one of the cutters into the log shaver at Oreco’s factory.

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