About our new composting facility

We are proposing to upgrade our Boyer operations within the Norske Skog industrial precinct. Currently we manage pine bark onsite, but with the help of state and federal grant funding we’re looking to install a modern ‘in-vessel’ composting facility into the existing building.


This facility, once operational will play an important role in processing commercial organic waste and local councils’ food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside waste.


The proposed facility will:


Turn food and garden waste into valuable compost, mulches and soil conditioners for landscaping and agricultural use.


Help councils reduce their landfill costs and greenhouse gas emissions; plus reduce the potent methane emissions created by organic waste when it’s dumped in landfills.     


Help the environment by contributing to the Tasmanian and Australian governments’ waste reduction goals to “halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030″.


We are planning to provide a long-term sustainable, state-of-the-art enclosed composting facility that turns organic waste back into a valuable resource for Tasmanians.


A modern, high tech organic processing facility, fully enclosed and with an active odour control system. This in-vessel composting (IVC) system keeps the air inside the building under a constant state of negative air pressure so no compost odour is released outside. All water is also captured and reused.


Watch our video for an IVC overview or download this document [.pdf, 1,383 KB] for a complete step-by-step guide to in-vessel composting.


The organic waste is kept in enclosed tunnels, water and air added as needed and the material turned until sensors indicate that is composted enough to meets Australian Standards 4454-2012 for Composts, Soil Conditioners and Mulches.


We (Barwick’s) are a Tasmanian family-owned business that has produced compost and landscaping materials for over forty years.

RSVP - Your invitation

Community Sausage Sizzle & Info Session

To be announced at a later date

To be announced at a later date

Frequently asked

In-vessel composting (IVC) is a modern composting process where organic waste (e.g. food and garden waste) is put into enclosed tunnels to decompose into compost, instead of the more traditional outdoor composting method where organic waste is placed in long rows to compost (windrow composting).

In-vessel composting is a better method of composting for the following reasons:

  • The tunnels are sealed and no bad smells are released into the environment
  • The tunnels capture any water run-off for reuse and no water is released into the environment
  • The tunnels are inside so heavy rains or high winds have no impact
  • The organic waste is monitored 24/7 by multiple sensors that track heat and water. This helps us monitor the material and make sure it’s composting at a high enough temperature for pasteurisation to take place.

For a complete, step-by-step description of the IVC process, download this document [.pdf, 1,383 KB]. 

No.  In fact modern ‘in-vessel’ composting facilities are the preferred option in built-up areas on the mainland and overseas because they do not emit strong smells, create flammable gasses such as methane, emit lots of dust or leak liquids.   The composting tunnels, tunnel loading and FOGO storage areas are fully enclosed and sealed with a specially-designed fans/extraction ducting and door mechanisms to maintain negative air pressure while composting, so there’s no smell escaping the facility from the building.

The tunnels are also inside a big shed so there’s no smell escaping while they are being filled.  Any bad odour that is created during composting is trapped inside these air-tight tunnels, then passed through a high-tech scrubbing unit – this converts the ammonia gas (the cause of the bad smells) into a liquid called Sulphate of Ammonia, which is an organic fertiliser sold in many garden centres.  The scrubbed-clean air is then passed through another bio-filter which absorbs any remaining strong-smelling gases. The final air, when released, contains no bad smells or nasty chemicals.  

For a complete, step-by-step description of the IVC process, download this document [.pdf, 1,383 KB]. 

Spread out over 50 weeks, we expect to have a total of 5 earth moving equipment mobilisations, 80 concrete panel deliveries, 50 concrete trucks, 5 mobile crane mobilisations and 25 plant/equipment and construction materials deliveries. 

When we re-open in 2025, we should return to our normal 4 Barwicks trucks a day (this is what we currently do onsite for our Boyer pine bark operations) and potentially another 4-5 contractor trucks delivering organic material for composting.  When we are fully operational, we intend to further reduce truck traffic by backfilling our own Barwicks trucks so they never leave the site empty.  If we can cut down on the number of empty trucks on the road it is not only better for the environment but also a common-sense cost-saving for our business.     

No.  An in-vessel composting facility is entirely closed-loop with respect to water run-off.

Any water that runs off the organic waste is captured in a series of drains within the building and re-applied to the composting material inside the sealed tunnels.  Any condensation is also captured within the tunnels. Since the composting happens inside and not outside like traditional windrow composting, heavy rains have no impact on the composting material.  

The site itself is located at least 300 metres away from the banks of the Derwent River.  Should there be Bureau of Meteorology warnings of extreme rain events or flooding, we have emergency management plans in place which include refusing to accept incoming organic material and using our own onsite vehicles to move any material to our Bridgewater site until the threat has passed.   

Should there be an incident at the neighbouring Norske Skog factory that may impact our own facility, we are on their list of proximity contacts and will be informed of any steps we need to take as part of their emergency management plan.

For a complete, step-by-step description of the IVC process, download this document [.pdf, 1,383 KB]. 

We believe we were awarded the grant funding for several reasons:

  • Our experience making, selling and distributing quality composts and landscaping products for over forty years.
  • Our experience with an industrial composting facility that accepts household food and garden waste (FOGO waste). 
  • Our partnerships with KPMG, Pitt and Sherry, Orez and other industry experts to ensure not only was our project economically sustainable but that it will provide the best outcome for Tasmanians.
  • Our commitment to include an onsite Education Centre that will help Tasmanian teachers and students learn about the value of organic resource recovery and composting processes.
  • Our 60% percent contribution to the cost of building the facility.  

The Tasmanian Liberal Government provided $3m seed funding as part of their investment towards establishing a circular economy in Tasmania. An additional $3m grant has been awarded under the Australian Government’s Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund.

In a nutshell – methane.  When food and garden waste (together called ‘organic waste’) is buried in landfills it breaks down anaerobically (without air) and produces large volumes of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas over 26 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.  But if this same organic waste is composted, it doesn’t produce methane but instead turns it into a valuable resource for farmers and landscapers. 

Stopping organic waste being buried in landfills is a priority at every government level.  The Federal Government has a national waste target to ‘halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill for disposal by 2030’.   The Tasmanian government also has a state-wide  waste target to reduce the volume of organic waste sent to landfill by 25% by 2025, and 50% by 2030.   Local governments around Tasmania are also looking at ways to reduce the costs of waste disposal for their communities by reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfill.   

The Federal and State governments have offered grant funding to set up additional composting facilities in both the north and south of the Tasmania. 

We will be composting the organic waste collected by Councils from their residents (food and garden waste) and the organic waste from our existing customers and local businesses.  We’ve been making compost for over forty years and with this new in-vessel composting facility we will be building up our customer base carefully – new customers must pass a scrutiny test to ensure we know the source and type of organic waste they will be bringing onsite for us to compost.     

FOGO stands for Food Organics Garden Organics, and it’s a waste collection service provided by councils to their residents – normally via a wheelie bin with a lime-green coloured lid.   A FOGO bin collects garden waste such as lawn clippings and prunings, plus all types of food scraps (including meat bones, shells, skins, meat and shellfish).  Most councils also allow compostable packaging, greasy pizza boxes, pet waste (pet hair and pet poo), organic kitty litter, untreated/ unpainted wood off-cuts and other paper-based products like paper towel and tissue – check with your local council to find out if they offer a FOGO service and what they accept.

FOGO is rapidly becoming the expected standard for household waste collection services around Australia due to its positive environmental impact and ability to convert household waste back into a valuable resource for agriculture and landscaping.  To see which local councils around Australia are providing Food and/or Garden Organics collection services visit this map.

All our composts are made to meet or exceed the Australian Standard for composts, soil conditioners and mulchesAS4454-2012. To meet this Standard composting material must be pasteurised (kept at a high temperature for an extended period).  This high heat over time significantly reduces plant and animal pathogens and plant propagule (a plant bud, sucker or spore).   

When our in-vessel composters are operating, the compost is pasteurised twice – once in each tunnel.  When the heat drops in one tunnel, we move the material to another tunnel and add water if needed – this helps dampen and aerate the material which starts the composting process again and raises the heat once more to pasteurising levels.

We also screen the material twice to remove contamination – before composting begins and after composting as an extra precaution. 

Lastly, when we have finished a batch of compost, we take samples from six different areas of the batch and send them to an independent laboratory for testing against the Australian Standard AS4454-2012.  The lab tests for any traces of residual pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, PCB, PAH, eColi and a variety of heavy metals. Should any of the tests fail, we are alerted immediately and the batch quarantined for disposal.    

For a complete, step-by-step description of the IVC process including photographs, download this document [.pdf, 1,383 KB].  

Yes.  Please visit our Barwick’s Landscape Supplies website for information on the locations of our retail outlets, distributers and how to buy.

No. All incoming material is booked in advance so we know what to expect.  As this is a commercial site we cannot allow individuals or small businesses to deliver their organic waste directly to us – it would be extra traffic and an extra hazard for our drivers.   We recommend contacting your local council to identify what options are available to you.   

We welcome anyone who has an interest in learning more about in-vessel composting and our proposed new facility.  Register your interest here.

Yes.  Please get in contact and let us know what part of the project your group would like to hear more about.   Register your contact details here. 

Please get in contact via our main website, we would like to hear from you.

We are planning to add a Education Centre to the facility once it has been built and running smoothly, this should be in early 2025.  We can also offer visits to our Bridgewater FOGO receival site (weather dependent).  Please fill in our feedback form here and provide your contact details and the name of your school and grade level/s in the comments, and we will be in touch.      

Critical plant and equipment has been selected with reliability/maintainability-in-design principles in mind.  Reliability centred (predictive/preventive) maintenance practices will be applied to facility with condition monitoring of critical components included in routine operational/maintenance inspections to detect potential failure events with sufficient lead time to effect repair prior to failure, thereby reducing the duration of the planned downtime event.  Critical/insurance spares will be procured and held on site as mitigation.  Equipment suppliers have confirmed that they will also hold an inventory of critical components in-country or best-case with a third-party within Tasmania to reduce lead times/supply chain risk.

MAY 2022
Grant funding announced by the Tasmanian Government
NOV 2022
EPA issued Project Specific Guidelines
DEC 2022
Start of permit application process
JUNE 2023
Start of public consultation period
JULY 2023
Review project with Derwent Valley Council, Brighton Council.
AUG 2023
Project review with State and Federal MPs from Derwent & Lyons Electorates.
Grant funding announced by the Federal Government.
SEP 2023
Launch website and request feedback, promote website via local councils, MPs social media and posters in Council-approved and Norske Skog-approved areas.
Send letter and invitation to residents that live near the proposed IVC facility
OCT 2023
(Tentative) Council Development Application (DA) and EPA submission.
Public consultation period ends and feedback incorporated into EPA submission.
Set up display board and drop-in ‘feedback box’ at Barwicks offices in Bridgewater.
Host a ‘sausage sizzle’ and Q&A session at Barwick’s offices in Bridgewater for interested community members (15th Oct, RSVPs required for catering)
DEC 2023
(Tentative) Receipt of conditional permits from Council and EPA.
FEB - MARCH 2024
(Tentative) Start building at our Boyer site.



A picture of students listening to Barwicks employee demonstrating how organic waste is converted into compost.

Our first school tour!

Did you know that the average household wheelie bin contains between 50-60% organic waste?  Big thanks to Sacred Heart College ‘Media Arts’ class for coming to our Bridgewater site and helping design our FOGO education program with this and other facts about organic waste.  FOGO – Food Organics Garden Organics – is a household waste collection service where Councils collect food scraps and garden waste from residents that would otherwise get dumped in landfill and rot anaerobically (without air) – this creates large volumes of the potent greenhouse gas methane.  However when we take FOGO from Councils we convert it to quality compost, mulch and soil conditioners using aerobic decomposition where the methane-producing bacteria cannot exist – this is a win for the environment as well as farmers and landscapers.   View our Facebook page for more pictures.



Photo of large shed looking through the door at new machinery with conveyor belts and chutes.

FOGO Receiving Shed gets upgrade

We’re proud to announce that our new fully-enclosed FOGO receiving shed and decontamination facility at Bridgewater is now operating!  This new facility gives us an all-weather solution for the FOGO decontamination process – wind and rain has no impact on our operations.  Incoming FOGO (food organics garden organics) is put on a series of conveyor belts and contamination screened out by mechanical processes; this is in addition to our staff manually removing any contamination.  Plastic bags, pot plant pots, garden tools, kitchen implements, even the odd item of clothing can now more easily be identified and removed before we send the organic material to be composted.  We also do a second screening after the composting process to triple-check no contamination ends up in our mulches, soil conditioners and composts.  To view more pictures of the new shed and decontamination machinery, visit our Facebook page.         



Photograph taken at Barwicks Bridgewater site of Minister Jaensch announcing the grant funding to the media.

Seed funding announced for state-of-the-art organics processing facility

We are excited to announce that we have been chosen as the successful applicant for a $3 million funding grant to establish a regional organic waste processing facility in Southern Tasmania. Funding from the Tasmanian Liberal Government will enable us to construct a state of the art, $14 million in-vessel composting facility at our current pine bark site at Boyer.  Once operational, it will be able to process a significant volume of Southern Tasmania’s organic material in an environmentally sustainable manner.  Click the link below to read the Minister for Environment and Climate Change’s announcement.



Have your say!
Contact Us

Didn’t see the answer to your question above? Please let us know! We want to make sure that everyone interested in this project has a chance to provide feedback and ask questions. Please click here to provide your feedback – this will take you to a secure site. Or if you prefer, email us at hello@barwicksfogo.com.au or call Barwicks on 6263 7319 (Bridgewater site) during office hours and our admin staff can send a paper copy of the feedback form to you. 

Please note that we respect your privacy however to reduce the risk of spam we do need to know your first name and what is your interest in this project if providing feedback online.  If you prefer to provide feedback anonymously, we will have a ‘feedback drop-in’ box at our Barwicks Bridgewater office.  

There will be a Project Info Display Board at the Barwicks Bridgewater office from the beginning of July, which will be updated as the project progresses. If you’d like to find out more about our family business please visit our main site at Barwicks.com.au or visit us on Facebook