Farmers are being urged to put aside their prejudices and consider an alternative to animal manure and other fertilisers — biosolids, also known as human waste.
Bundaberg Regional Council produces 1,500 tonnes of solid waste out of its wastewater each year, and it hopes to provide biosolids from all its water treatment plants for use on farms across the region. It is currently running a trial providing the waste for free to farmers, including macadamia grower Tony Pashley.
"It's not something new," Mr Pashley said. "[Human waste was used] way back as far as the Egyptians and the Greeks, for sustainable farming."
Mr Pashley's farm at Welcome Creek has been in his family since the 1870s."Having grown sugarcane on our farm for the last 70 years, the ground was rundown, depleted in a lot of nutrients, from continuous monoculture," he said."I was looking for an opportunity to build the soil up to improve its texture and compound for the macadamia nuts. For the past 12 months biosolids, which look like a rich, dark soil, have been applied to 14 rows of trees on Mr Pashley's 25-hectare property.The council has supplied biosolids to local growers for the past 20 years, but it is pushing for more to get on board... Read more>>>