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Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre boasts innovative new truck wash

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The Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre is now boasting a new truck wash, one like no other.

Saleyards Manager Joanne McLoughlin has spent two-and-a-half years working with various groups to come up with a new way to deal with washing trucks and essentially recycling effluent. 

Joanne said she saw a problem with how it was being done and now they've got a much more environmentally friendly way to deal with it. 

"We had a problem with the way effluent was being dumped on to our truck wash from the trucks on board effluent tanks so what I came up with was an idea to be able to take that material and get it out of the trucks and into our effluent processing system,”

“So we came up with essentially just a big concrete pad with some cattle grids in it and the trucks came on and they open their onboard tanks and empty the material into the pit and then that works its way through to our effluent ponds from there with we worked with a company to have what we call a solid separator which is a big screw press and it just takes the material from our ponds and it dewaters takes the water out of the manure and makes it a dry product,” she said.

“We're currently getting that classified for a level of fertilizer so we know what we can market that at so this is a product the Council is going to be able to put out into the community as a marketable product,”

"It's ensuring that we're starting to reuse the waste materials that we have here.”

“It's an issue for most saleyards, most abattoirs and most feedlots so and dairies, even so, this is some initiatives that we can take out to the rest of the industry and hopefully get some others improving their processes,” said Joanne. 

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen was able to secure $320,000 for the upgrade works on the truck wash through the Fixing Country Truck Washes program that he said plays an important role in ensuring the safety and productivity of truck operators, especially livestock carriers.

“The upgrade includes the construction of a livestock truck effluent disposal facility and a solids separator to process manure, which means that waste products can be processed on site using less water and labour, as well as turning it into dry waste to be used as fertiliser,” Michael Johnsen said.

“We know that the freight industry contributes more than $60 billion to the NSW economy each year, so we’re powering ahead with projects like this because truck washing facilities deliver biosecurity measures through disease control and weed management."

“Trucks will be able to empty their effluent tanks more efficiently and it encourages more livestock transporters to install effluent tanks in their trucks, which will reduce the amount of manure on local roads.”

It's safe to say, the truck wash has added to the more than $7 million worth of upgrade works at the saleyards that was officially completed this week.

“So we've done a major upgrade at the Saleyards and we've got it to a state where it's got great facilities, animals are well looked after our animal welfare is very high here and so the animals are now being looked after really well the staff are working in a safe and good environment and so now and next process is to take that whole environmental process even further," said Joanne. 

"We've got our facility now on tank water instead of town water which saves us about $200,000 a year so we're harvesting all our water it's used for the cattle to drink it's used for dust suppression in our yards and it's also used in our Truck Wash,” she said. 

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse