Biochar facility installed in Yarra Ranges

An Earth Systems representative talking at the opening.

Parks, gardens and farms will have improved soil quality, with the launch of the first biochar facility of its kind in Yarra Ranges this week.

On Monday, 5 June, State Government and Council representatives officially celebrated the milestone of the commissioned facility, located at the Lysterfield Waste Transfer Station.

Biochar is a type of high value charcoal, that can be added to soil to increase fertility, water holding capacity and plant growth, while reducing greenhouse emissions.

Three speakers at the biochar event.

Lyster Ward Councillor, Johanna Skelton, said the new facility would benefit farmers and the environment.

“I’m excited that we’re now the proud owners of a biochar facility, which will turn excess woody material into valuable soil additives, while capturing carbon,” Cr Skelton said,

“The biochar created by this site will be sold to farmers, horticulturalists and home gardeners, which can be used to improve their soil.

“The pyrolysis process used to produce biochar results in adding carbon into the soil, rather than into the atmosphere, which helps to mitigate climate change.

“We’ll also be using the biochar in our tree planting projects and public gardens, to improve soil quality and help plants flourish throughout the region.

“A side-benefit of biochar is that it reduces the need to burn off materials, improving air quality.”

A group photo at the new Lysterfield Biochar Facility

A group photo of Council, Earth Systems and State Government representatives at the biochar facility.

Earth Systems, a Victorian company with global expertise in biochar technology and production, has worked with Council to establish the facility. The company is playing a leading role in the growing biochar market both in Australia and overseas.

Establishing a biochar facility was identified in Council’s Liveable Climate Plan as a flagship project. Through the Climate Plan, Council’s adopted goal of sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, along with net zero emissions by 2040 has the biochar facility as the key feature.

The biochar facility has been funded with $500,000 from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, with each dollar matched by Council.

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