Can recycled organics be used to create a sustainable horse bedding?

MRA Consulting Group

Hands in the Garden

Access to traditional horse bedding solutions such as sawdust is becoming increasingly more expensive and harder to source.

MRA, supported by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, is promoting the benefits of compost in agricultural systems through some innovative approaches.

This approach is looking at using compost blends as bedding in horse stables.

Project Background

Recent and ongoing investments in organics recovery facilities by the NSW DPIE and private industry has resulted in the production of high-quality compost. This project is about expanding the market and application for these composts in the equine industries.

A novel application for recycled organics material is its use as bedding for horses. It is becoming difficult and expensive to obtain sawdust traditionally used in stables and compost is a readily available and affordable alternative.

MRA established a demonstration site at Cressfield stud in Parkville, NSW and held workshops to demonstrate to breeders and stud managers the value and practicality of using recycled organics material as horse bedding.


The ‘compost makes great bedding material’ project was funded under the Waste Less Recycle More (WLRM), Organics Market Development Grants (Round 3), to increase the awareness and use of recycled organics in the horse industry, by demonstrating and communicating that compost is a practical, suitable, and cost effective equine bedding and surfacing material.


This project engaged equine facilities to trial a compost as an alternative bedding/ surfacing product to sawdust. The results were shared with other equine owners, trainers, yard managers at a results workshop (live online webinar), held on 24 of June 2020.

The project communicated the benefits of using compost blends as a bedding material in the equine industry, focussed on the Hunter Region. Through communication and workshop activities, this project has demonstrated that recycled organics materials can be used as an effective horse bedding material.

This is potentially the first project of its kind in Australia, with Europe leading the way on compost products for horse bedding. The project has raised the profile of compost applications and availability within the equine industry in the Hunter Region.


To learn more or register your interest in any similar workshops or webinars, email or go to

The project was funded by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment through the Waste Less, Recycle More (WLRM) Organics Market Development program.

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