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Green Composting at the Vet School

From the lab to the garden!

The School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at Roseworthy campus is steadily increasing the use of animal carcasses for teaching and research. With the volume of animal waste for disposal expected to exceed 30 tonnes in 2013 (up from 2.6 tonnes in 2012), the school looked for alternatives to its previous disposal method - incineration via medical waste bins.

Funds were sought through the Green Project Fund to implement a cleaner and greener method of disposal:- composting!

The school contracted with a local South Australian company, Peats Soil, who provided a large, enclosed, aerobic composting bin (BiobiN®). Mixed with straw or sawdust, the composting process generates heat above 60C for prolonged periods, which destroys pathogens. The end product of composting is humus, which has value as a fertiliser and soil amendment.

Vet School Biobin

The new waste disposal system enables a single worker to safely and cleanly transport animal waste from the post-mortem exam room to an outdoor BioBin®, therefore reducing inefficient and occupationally risky work practices.

Not only does the composting process divert green waste from landfill, and reduce transport costs and greenhouse gas emissions, it has reduced carcass disposal costs to below 15% of previous incineration costs.

This project was led by Milton McAllister from the School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences and funded through the Green Project Fund 2012.

Read more about organic recycling on campus.

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