Using Soil Recycling to Save Money on Greenfield Development

Dirty Talk

We got into this game because we saw a big problem that we knew how to fix: inefficient practices around soil management on development and landscaping sites. The modus operandi is both more expensive than it needs to be, and takes a significant toll on the environment. Save money and make better decisions for the planet? It was a no brainer, and Soil Recycling Co was off and running.

Consider the current process for creating a new landscape. Common practice is to remove the existing soil, excavate to design levels and import new topsoil that’s been treated offsite and transported multiple times (in trucks that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). 

The above led us to ask a simple question, with a simple answer: Why? Because we’re in an industry that’s slow to move, where the status quo is rarely questioned and because noone had introduced better practices into the Victorian market – yet. 

So how do we reduce the need for trucks on roads, lower emissions, save on tip fees and leave you with more money in your pocket at the end of a project?

Here’s how our soil recycling process works…

Site trim by a third party

We do dirt, and we do it well. We leave the site trim to the experts and work with the existing stockpiled topsoil.

Soil samples 

After reviewing the site we gather samples from either an existing site before the excavation or from an existing soil stockpile. Those samples are taken back to the lab. Once samples are processed we contract to a third party agronomist (soil scientist) to start the testing regime.

Results are received

The agronomist reports their findings to us and we then confirm recommended amendments to bring the soil up to scratch – both for site specific specifications and to ensure the plant life on your site will be sustained for years to come.

Soil waste management strategy 

This is where our experience comes in – we put our heads together with the agronomist, compost manufacturer and fertiliser supplier and come up with a total inclusive cost for the service. We also supply a comparison table to assess against the standard importing soil approach. 

Once you have the soil waste strategy in your hands, we’re pretty confident that you’ll be ringing us back to confirm that yes, you do want to save money, make a better environmental decision and end up with soil that meets your site requirements. Great choice! Here’s what happens next…

Amelioration materials produced offsite using recycled means

We receive compost, organics, gypsum, lime and fertiliser as required in the offsite facility which is premixed to the agronomists site specifications. 


Our mobile recycling plant consists of three to four pieces of equipment: a trommel, stacker, excavator and loader. The area we require is approximately 50x50m. We review the current drawings and work out the best location for the soil stockpile and plant setup. 

Screening & blending

We deliver as required and do not overload our allocated area. Blending commences using our plant. Site soil is loaded into the trommel which aerates the soil, screens to a suitable particle size and removes oversized waste material. We then start the blending process. Our equipment blends around 500-750m3 per day. 

Environmental impact story & certification 

After the process of recycling your site soil, we submit quality certification and a site specific impact story of what we have achieved!

Now let’s put it into practice…

When Lend Lease's Aurora estate development in Melbourne needed to recycle 1300m3 of soil, they turned to Spiire for help.

The team at Spiire has been working with Lend Lease for a number of years and was able to recommend us to take care of all the soil recycling needs of the Aurora estate project moving forward. 

By recycling the topsoil we saved our client $83,000 alone in this first stage by removing the need to dispose of the existing soil and import new soil. 

Now times that by the estate requirements – we estimate a total of 50,000m3 of soil across the sites, saving Lend Lease $3,200,000. 

We also saved 6.73t of carbon emission hitting the atmosphere through reduced truck movements and to offset our carbon emissions we planted 31 trees in native forests with Greenfleet. Over the course of the estate we are looking at 259t and 1192 trees. 

Want to chat? We’d love to hear from you.

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