Our waste can be a valuable resource and we want to make the best use of it.
The EPA is committed to engaging with the waste and recycling sector to increase resource recovery rates and encourage innovative, sustainable solutions that help to achieve this goal.
What is MWOO?
MWOO is the end product of a practice which aims to separate the organic waste in household red-lid bins from other waste. It was previously allowed to be applied as a soil amendment under strict controls.
MWOO is produced at Alternative Waste Treatment (AWT) facilities, primarily to divert general household waste (red-lid bin) from landfill. AWT operators previously sold MWOO as a soil amendment.
MWOO is also marketed under the trade names Agriblend, Rehab-ARRT Rejuvenate (for mine sites), Pasture-ARRT Rejuvenate (broadacre agriculture) or OGM (organic growth media).
MWOO is not the same as compost and this change does not apply to compost, garden potting mix or biosolids. Read more in the fact sheet on applying compost and biosolids (PDF 293KB).
EPA’s position on the future use of MWOO
In October 2018 the EPA revoked the general and specific Resource Recovery Orders and Resource Recovery Exemptions for the application of MWOO to land due to risks associated with chemical and physical contaminants. It also introduced phase one of a Transition Package for the alternative waste treatment industry to ensure kerbside collection services are not disrupted and that any additional transport and landfill costs are not passed on to councils or ratepayers.
Since then the EPA has undertaken further work and commissioned a range of additional research to consider if further controls could allow the material to be safely applied to agriculture, mining and forestry plantation sites.
After reviewing previous and new assessments of the human health and ecological risks of applying MWOO to land, the EPA’s position is that it does not intend to grant any general exemptions or issue any related orders allowing MWOO to be used as a soil amendment on agricultural, mining rehabilitation or forestry land.
The EPA will assess applications for new and alternative uses on a case by case basis. More information on making an application can be found on the EPA’s website.
MWOO is not the same as compost and this change does not apply to compost or biosolids.