One advantage of the rotating action of the trommel is screening and ameliorating (adding mix-ins) at the same time, avoiding double handling. We also deal with clay soils, wet and bulky materials.

Our expert soil scientists (or your own, if preferred) can recommend ameliorants and ratios to improve your unsuitable site soil to AS4419, MRTS16 or R178 standard, or create superior custom blends suitable for the plantings on your site. Some of the unusual things we can do with custom blended soils include creating soils which don’t need as much water, creating soils which match the habitat of plants required for an endangered animal, creating soils for projects which require 95% grass coverage to achieve practical completion and creating soils which will reduce ongoing maintenance costs where areas are difficult to access. If water is expensive on your site and you can reduce your watering budget by 25% simply by using some smarts with your soil, it’s worth investing extra to go above the specification required for the project.

Reusing existing soil means fewer trucks on local roads carting away waste and bringing back imported topsoils, less change to the eco-system on your site and significant savings. This video has more information on amelioration using a trommel screen:

Soil Testing

The first step in this process is soil testing in which samples of your soil are sent away for evaluation. The soil scientist should ask you about your budget and what you are trying to achieve with the soil.

For example, planting native grasses on a batter beside a highway requires different soil than growing grass on a sports field or a vertical garden on a highrise building.

You can achieve almost anything with ameliorated topsoil, but if you want to turn a hessian bag into a silk purse you need to be prepared to pay for ameliorants.

Soil testing and amelioration recommendations usually cost less than $500, giving you the option to pursue or think it over.

The soil scientist provides you with test results and amelioration recommendations around 7-10 days after testing. There is no obligation to proceed past this point. If we can’t achieve your vision within your budget, we won’t proceed with the job.


After reviewing the soil report, we will prepare a proposal including our screening recommendations and the cost of ameliorants for your job.

Screening generally costs between $4 and $8 per m3 depending on the materials being screened, the complexity of the custom blend, the screen size and the quantity required. Ameliorant prices vary dramatically depending on your site location and what is required.

We are cost effective for quantities as low as 300m3.

Final Steps

When it comes to being environmentally friendly and cost-effective, amelioration of existing site soils is your best option. Our advice is free, so give us a call on 1300 748 388 for more information.

Our lead-time could be as little as two days or two months depending on the time of year, so the more notice you give us, the better.