Ball Australia embraces it's commitment to achieving environmental
practices that bring improvements to how we operate and respect the environment around us
Ball Australia has made a commitment to minimise the amount of waste that is generated by the nursery site and makes every effort to reduce, recycle or reuse materials where possible.
Working with external businesses to recycle plastic pots, chemical drums, cardboard, batteries, polystyrene, IT equipment and cartridges and plug trays, through to reusing potting mix made available to staff for a gold coin donation that is then given to a local charity. The company is always working to ensure recycling or reuse of waste is a priority.
Ball Australia places significant importance on its Waste Management Plan and the constant need to manage and mitigate waste generation and resource consumption.
The Future For Water Management
Changing environmental conditions are impacting greatly on horticultural production and a key issue that Ball Australia recognises it is facing into the future, is water availability.
A method to track and gather accurate data on the impact of watering requirements for different plug crops was needed. Better environmental management of water loss, leading to a reduction in water wastage and improved crop growth and quality plugs for customers, became the key focus.
Will Healy, now retired, was a Senior Technical & Research Manager at Ball Horticulture in the USA and was instrumental in assisting the growing staff at Ball Australia to improve their management of irrigation and water conservation for better quality root systems in their plug production.
So to honour Will’s many years of input, the program was named after him… ‘Will Grow’ - a 'Water by Weight' program to Improve consistent growing quality.
Ball Australia designed the in house program - 'Will Grow' that offers labour saving gains through:
- Efficient data gathering and less double handling by staff
- Timely and accurate watering with water usage currently down by 20%
- Minimal leaching of nutrients from plugs, reducing fertiliser wastage
- Nutrient efficiency increased with improved uptake, fewer plant losses
- Consistent crop quality – customer satisfaction
Water Recycling Using Natural Resources
Ball Australia's Waste Management Plan is designed to support an ecological based management approach.
Making use of the natural reed bed system on site, Ball Australia directs all diluted chemicals through a sealed drain system where it is then pumped out onto the reed beds. The reeds carry oxygen to the soil, which in turn encourages microorganisms, algae, bacteria and fungi in the soil to digest the waste contaminants to the point where the waste water is clean enough to be discharged back into the environment.
The company's storage of waste chemicals such as herbicides and fungicides is kept to an absolute minimum on site. Containers are recycled via a contractor or sent back to supplier.