Bardee is the largest insect breeding, fertiliser and protein producer in Australia, based in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine North, Victoria.
Their products are helping to make agriculture more sustainable. Food waste from restaurants, cafes and markets gets processed into insect feed. The insects process the food into an organically certified fertiliser called Superfly, and HACCP-certified insect protein. This insect protein is used as an ingredient in various pet foods and stock feeds around Australia. The Superfly fertiliser is used in gardens, nurseries, schools, sports fields, golf courses, vineyards, flower farms, pastures and broadacre farms around Australia.
In 2021 the company purchased a Toro WE500, a battery operated mini digger. Alex Arnold, co-founder of Bardee said: “We needed a mini digger that was suitable to use indoors, it needed to have low noise and no fumes. We chose the Toro WE500 as it fitted the criteria, and we also loved that it has a lithium ion battery so that we can charge it with our rooftop solar and stay 100% electric onsite.”
“It was very important for us to buy it through Nick Heffernan at Dawn Mowers, because of the excellent support and after sale service we receive from them.”
The WE500 is used within the Bardee factory. Once food waste is received the WE500 scoops it up with the bucket attachment and carries it to the food waste processing line.
“This machine is very reliable, seriously, it has shoveled thousands of tonnes of food waste and has not had a problem. It is very quiet which is great when you work around others”, said Alex.
“As it is fully electric there are no fumes, which is very important to an insect farm. We can usually run it for 6 to 7 hours a day on a single charge. It’s easy to operate and safe, we love the auto idle and handbrake functions. On top of this the WE500 is fun, I think the team likes operating this machine the most out of anything we have on site”, he added.