Janelle Horne of Q Mulching details the green waste company’s 17-year relationship with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering.
With organics to landfill diversion a central target of waste and resource recovery strategies nationwide, instilling children with a passion for recycling is now more important than ever.
This is the central focus of Q Mulching’s Marvin the Worm program, which, in line with Australian curriculums for science and geography, seeks to spread positive source separation behaviours to students along Queensland’s Fraser Coast.
With an interactive trailer reminiscent of Healthy Harold and a workbook written by Q Mulching’s Rheanon Kerslake, the program travels to schools to teach children about the benefits of recycling and compost.
“When Q Mulching first began its composting process, we had some issues with contamination in the material we were receiving, which inspired me to develop the program to coincide with Fraser Coast Regional Council’s messaging around source separation,” Rheanon says.
“By using this book and program, we’re helping to lay a foundation. Teaching the importance of recycling to younger generations means they can realise what they are doing now, and then follow that into adulthood and teach their children.”
The Marvin the Worm education program builds on Q Mulching’s management of green waste processing for the entire Fraser Coast local government area.
Highlighting the company’s innovative spirit, Janelle Horne, Q Mulching Owner and Administrative Manager, says prior to Q Mulching, green waste processing was few and far between in the region.
Operating two major composting sites in addition to six smaller waste transfer stations, residents bring their green waste to Q Mulching free of charge through Fraser Coast Regional Council.
“We grind the material once a fortnight at our major sites, before composting the product to the Australian Standards 4454,” Janelle says.
Q Mulching is processing around 60 to 70,000 cubic metres of green waste material at a time at one of their facilities, with 40,000 cubic metres at the other.
To effectively manage that level of material, she says Q Mulching operate a range of Caterpillar equipment. Janelle highlights Caterpillar’s Next Gen 23T Excavator as a critical component of material management at Q Mulching’s facilities.
Built for heavy-duty performance, Caterpillar’s Next Gen 23T Excavator brings increased speed, efficiency and high productivity to high-production applications.
With up to 15 per cent less fuel consumption than comparable models, Caterpillar’s Next Gen Excavator functions in line with Q Mulching’s commitment to sustainable processing and resource recovery.
That said, while the quality of Caterpillar’s equipment is essential, Janelle emphasises Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering’s commitment to service. She adds that as seven days a week operation, reliability is critical for Q Mulching.
“We’ve used other manufacturers in the past, and unfortunately, the reliability isn’t always there, whether that’s break downs, downtime or the availability of extra parts,” Janelle says.
“The great thing about Caterpillar and Hastings Deering is that when we need a part, and we’ve ordered it by 2pm, it will usually arrive the following day.
“Not many other companies can offer that level of service. Plus, when we purchase a new Caterpillar machine, we are confident that the machine will last its term.”
Working together for more than 17 years, Janelle says Q Mulching and Hastings Deering have developed an effective and symbiotic relationship.
“When Hastings Deering has new staff, they bring them to our site and introduce them to the team. This means that when we have to order new parts or have any kind of problem, we know exactly who to contact and the faces behind the phone call,” she says.
In addition to service reliability and the quality of their machinery offerings, Janelle says Hastings Deering are always ready to point Q Mulching in the right direction when new equipment becomes available.
“Hastings Deering works to look after their current customers, as opposed to always looking out for new customers.”
Rheanon feels similarly, highlighting the Caterpillar teams’ individual approach.
“I find them very personable, of course they’re still salespeople at the end of the day, but they’re very genuine. They actually want to come in and help our operations, as opposed to just providing machinery,” she says.
This is a sentiment mirrored by Stuart Manton, Hastings Deering’s Territory Manager, who says the value of Caterpillar lies not just with their equipment, but their commitment to functioning as solutions providers.
“People know that when they purchase a piece of Caterpillar equipment, they’re purchasing a machine that is engineered to the highest standards. However, we don’t believe in resting on our laurels,” he says.
“Our approach goes above and beyond providing a piece of equipment. We believe in developing relationships with our clients and working with them to create the best outcomes, both economically and environmentally.”
As Caterpillar’s presence in the waste and resource recovery sector grows, Stuart hopes to continue working with environmentally aligned customers.
“We at Hastings Deering and Caterpillar are continually innovating in the waste and resource recovery space, be that new approaches to landfill compaction, or providing solutions for composting facilities such as Q Mulching,” he says.
“The waste sector is growing, and team Caterpillar is well positioned to grow alongside it.”