Waste Managers Extend ‘Recycling to Land’ Scheme

21 April 2010 by Daryl Tunningley

Farmers turn to sustainable – and free – alternative as fertiliser costs soar

Britain’s leading supplier of septic tank clearance services is experiencing “unprecedented demand” from farmers seeking supplies of liquid fertiliser derived from the collected waste.

Hampshire-based waste management company Cleansing Service Group (CSG), which collects domestic household sewage from over 70,000 homes every year, says demand is being driven by the recent dramatic rise in the price of conventional fertiliser.

The company is planning to expand its Recycling to Land scheme which supplies farmers with free organic fertiliser and reduces cultivation costs.

The screened sewage is applied to fields via a tractor-mounted umbilical soil injection system and can be used on grassland and stubble ready for the next crop – but not salad, fruit and root crops.

Once injected into the soil, the material breaks down to provide nutrients, encourage humus formation and improve soil structure.

CSG currently applies the fertiliser at seven UK ‘injector sites’ but the company is actively working towards a significant increase in the number of sites treated.
“There was a time when we had to seek out farmers wanting the fertiliser, but now there’s an unprecedented demand and farmers are coming to us,” said CSG’s Chris Febrey who heads the company’s Agricultural Division.

“It acts as an effective and cheap alternative fertiliser at a time when the cost of conventional fertiliser products has gone through the roof and is unlikely to come down. 

“Bio-fertiliser provides good levels of nitrates, including NPK and magnesium, trace elements, and organic matter to help soil structure. Even the actual injection process assists aeration on grassland. And when injection is undertaken on stubble, a deep cultivation is used which saves the farmer the cultivation cost. ”

He said the company was seeking fresh sites – preferably mixed grass and arable with storage facilities for the fertiliser such as former slurry stores where unprofitable dairy farming has been replaced by beef or arable.