Golf course sees benefit from turning more than 1,000 tonnes of waste into compost

Coombe Hill Golf Club near Kingston-upon-Thames has composted 450 tonnes of soil, grass clippings and leaves.

Grounds teams at the mature woodland course in Surrey had to collect 100 tonnes of leaves from 65ha of land.

Meanwhile course manager Sean Whipp has undertaken modifications such as creating new buggy paths and tees leaving piles of construction waste.

Whipp decided all the scrapings from the course construction work would be recycled along with all the grass clippings collected in the summer months. In a typical season this clocks up 450 tonnes of waste a year.

The new buggy paths meanwhile added 750 tonnes of waste soil to the pile for recycling. Whipp decided to compost the lot, returning it to the course as a high-quality top dressing.

"You need the area and a solid floor to allow the material to be turned and mixed to make good compost," he said. "Without the infrastructure you cannot produce a quality material."

Composted dressing is screened while Whipp’s team uses Trilo kit from the Grass Group. This includes a light B7 blower and a BL960 leaf machine for larger areas. He also uses a Trilo SG400 vacuum sweeper and a lighter SF150 vacuum mounted on a Toro Workman.

"We do not mix in sand or add anything to our composted material as this would be too difficult with the location of the composting site and the quantities we would need. It would also strain our budgets considerably.

"But we are producing a very good end product from what was considered waste a few years ago. Composting needs investment, infrastructure and patience. But with the right equipment it is well worth doing and beneficial to the course."

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