A Forbes business is expected to expand rapidly and create another 15 to 20 local jobs.
Topsoil Organics’ Forbes-based Central West Nutrient Return Center was recently licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency to collect 30,000 tons of organic waste per year and turn it into high quality compost.
It is the brainchild of Dan and Lana Nicholson who founded Topsoil Organics in 2016.
Now, with the support of a $ 300,000 investment complemented by the NSW government’s Job Creation Fund, their vision of expansion is becoming a reality.
Dan’s family has been involved in agronomy for generations, his father has been an agronomist for 40 years.
Lana is an environmental scientist with a passion for soil health.
Put them together and you have a strong partnership.
“In 2016 we saw potential, the state government really tried to remove green waste from the landfill,” Dan said this week.
This is how Topsoil Organics was born and has been selling compost that was produced in other regions to our arable farmers for four years.
They can barely keep up with the demand, their customers currently spanning the entire western region and beyond.
With a good season after the devastating and prolonged drought, the interest in organic products for soil health and compost has increased as more and more farmers consciously choose organic products that help maintain soil moisture and reduce the water storage capacity of the soil by around Increase 30%. .
“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing in 12 months,” said Dan.
Now they have seized the opportunity to develop a quality platinum product right here, right in the center of this market. Topsoil Organics has set up a composting facility on a site in the Central West Industrial Park on the Newell Highway north of Forbes.
“We’re trying to close the loop here, bring your leftover food back here and turn it into a high quality product that will make your food grow again,” said Dan.
“This is not only a great benefit for our environment, but also for the land that will be cultivated for generations – the use of organic materials will reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers and preserve and rejuvenate our soil.”
Topsoil Organics already employs one full-time and two occasional operators as well as two environmental scientists.
The funds will add infrastructure, a weighbridge and a ring road, as well as a covert sorting area.
“The material will go through a hall on a conveyor belt for pre-sorting, there will be about 15 jobs in it,” said Nicholson.
The material then comes in swaths, where the temperature and humidity are monitored by environmental scientists and turned if necessary.
There is some seasonal variation, but an average of three months later, the compost is measured not only against the demands of the Australian industry, but also against the company’s own desire to set a premium standard.
It is sifted through what is called a drum to make sure nothing is larger than 10mm and then it is ready to go back into the ground.
Topsoil’s goal is to have the compost ready for farmers by the next harvest so that the organic matter can be reinvested in the soil before sowing in 2022.
It’s an exciting time and funding has made it possible much faster and accelerated their dreams by about 5 years.
“We are now where we thought we would be in 10 to 15 years,” said Dan.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary Sam Farraway MLC said a $ 300,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Job Creation Fund will help implement the project.
“I am excited to be supporting Topsoil Organics on this exciting project and look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to the Forbes community,” he said.