30 Jul 2014 : The Suveying Company
The local business we are featuring is annually converting around 30,000 tonnes of Hawkes Bay’s organic waste into 30,000 cubic metres of dark, rich compost.
BioRich Ltd was founded in 2004 by Maraekakaho farmer Mike Glazebrook. Mike had been making compost on a large scale for a number of years prior to BioRich to support his organic vegetable growing operation.
It was that experience that taught Mike the benefits to the soil of using compost. It also opened his eyes to the amount of organic waste material that was available in Hawkes Bay. Further, at that time environmental protection regulations were becoming much tighter. It was apparent that Hawkes Bay’s organic waste needed a better disposal solution.
Since forming BioRich the quantities handled have steadily grown. It has now outgrown the 4ha site on his farm, and a 10ha site at Awatoto continues to be developed.
BioRich receives waste from local meat works, from food processors such as Watties, from packhouses, wineries, fisheries and wool scourers. It also receives green waste from Hastings City and Central Hawkes Bay District Council, saw dust from timber mills and waste bark from the Ports of Napier and Gisborne.
The ingredients are mixed together to get the right balance of carbon, nitrogen, porosity and moisture. The mix is then placed over aeration lines for the first 2 weeks to accelerate the decomposition. From there it is put into windrows to further break down and cure. Several months later, stabilised compost is ready to go.
BioRich supplies most of the local landscape centres, organic orchardists, and vineyards. However it is supplying compost back into our local cropping soils that gives Mike the most satisfaction. Many of the cropping soils of the Heretuanga Plains have lost much of their structure and organic matter.
Applying compost not only supplies nutrients and organic matter directly, but, more importantly provides a food source for organisms that live in the soil. As these organisms further breakdown the compost, their activity and the humic substances they excrete further improves soil structure.
As Mike sees it, there is no myth and magic about it. The evidence is seen in the topsoil that nature has created over many years through a cycle of life, death and decay. Compost simply completes a cycle that is otherwise compromised by crop removal.
BioRich’s mission to divert organic matter from where it can do harm - in our landfills and waterways, to where it can do some good – in our soils, led to it being awarded the 2005 Hawkes Bay Business Environment Award.
For more information visit www.biorich.co.nz
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