Queensland worm farmer invents solar powered compost machine

A Queensland worm farmer believes she has invented the world’s first commercially-produced solar powered compost machine.

“It certainly is, yes, and we are happy to say it has been designed here in Australia and running entirely on solar,” said Penny Mitchell, from Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast.

Waste material is put into two bins that rotate with the power of the sun, breaking down the matter with time. Ms Mitchell said the market for solar powered compost bins was environmentally conscious businesses that wanted to reduce their carbon footprint. “We are getting quite a bit of interest, we have had enquiries from [companies in] India and New Zealand and a few other places,” she said.

“A lot of the people are interested in their sustainability but we also sell them to schools and universities who are educating the population about waste.”

Griffith University in Brisbane recently purchased one for food waste, while the Sunshine Coast Airport has installed one in an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint. The airport’s general manager Peter Pallott said minimising waste would help the airport achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral. “As part of our carbon accreditation program we were looking to introduce a waste minimisation scheme,” he said. “We are using the machine to take all of the food waste from our cafes and offices.”

Penny Mitchell from Queensland's Sunshine Coast has invented a solar powered compost machine

Penny Mitchell from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has invented a solar powered compost machine

Sunshine Coast Airport has treated 14,500 litres of waste so far and turned into compost to be used on the gardens surrounding the airport.

“We have actually reduced significantly the amounts of trucks we have going to landfall and we have had to double the amount of trucks going to the recycle depo,” Mr Pallott said.

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