30 April 2020
AORA April News
From the National Executive Officer
One of AORA’s key roles, as the national voice for the organics recycling industry, is to define and promote the value our industry provides to the nation and our economy. This is why we recently commissioned a report entitled The Economic Contribution of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry, which was undertaken by Australian Economic Advocacy Solutions. The report shows our industry is a huge contributor, economically and environmentally, to our nation.
The Australian organics recycling industry in 2018-19 recycled 7.5 million tonnes of organic material. Over the last decade the recycled tonnage has grown by 3.4% annually, versus a population growth rate of 1.4%. Our national organic recycling rate was 51.5% - roughly 298 kilograms of recycled organic material for every Australian.
Our industry has 305 businesses operating; pays over a $366 million in wages and salaries and an additional $35 million towards superannuation; and provides an average livelihood to each employee industry of $75,540 which compares to national average weekly earnings of $64,390. The industry has a collective turnover of over $2 billion and provides $1.9 billion in benefit across its supply chain. Our industry contributes $724 million in industry value add to the Australian economy, with a further $579 million value added through flow-on demand for goods and services, and 4,070 indirect jobs provided through flow on activity.
And that’s just a snapshot of the economic benefits. On the environmental side, the greenhouse gas saving from organics recycling is approximately 3.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually. This is equivalent to planting 5.7 million trees or taking 876,663 cars off the road.
The report also models what the economic and environmental contribution would be if the current organics recycling rates were increased. For instance, if we achieved an organics recycling rate of 90% nationally, this would generate an extra $1.5 billion in sales providing an additional $1.4 billion in
supply chain opportunity with an extra $542 million in industry value add towards the Australian economy. This would deliver 3,624 extra jobs paying $274 million in livelihood to Australians. An extra 2.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions would be saved, which is equivalent to 4.2 million trees planted or 656,356 cars taken off the road each year.
These are powerful arguments showing the real value of our industry, and complement the many positives about the value of our products. We will use these figures in our upcoming national policy document, and as part of a strong strategic approach of advocacy to governments on behalf of our members.
The Economic Contribution of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry report will be emailed to all AORA members in the coming week. Please read and use it to support and grow your business.

As always, don't hesitate to call or email me if you would like to discuss any issues, peter@aora.org.au or 0458 404 898.

Peter Olah
National Executive Officer
Postponement of Victoria's Environmental Protection Act
As part of a suite of measures to assist businesses during the COVID-19 situation, the State Government of Victoria has deferred until 01 July 2021 the new environmental legislation that had been scheduled for this year. 

They have stated that: “This is not a cancellation of the Environment Protection Reforms. As with many aspects of working life at the present time, it is a responsive adjustment to the current circumstances.”
EPA Vic has assured AORA Vic that work will continue on the determination for organics, albeit on a longer timeframe and that they will be in touch to continue the consultation that had been occurring during late 2019 and earlier this year.

AORA Vic believes the postponement is sensible and pragmatic and they actually welcome the extended time-frame which allows them to present to government a vision that encompasses all organic feedstocks - municipal and agricultural – in pursuit of a regulatory framework and transition agenda to lift standards, increase capacity and improve the quality of finished products.
FOCUS enviro add two new EDGE high capacity shredders to their product range

A global leader in the design and distribution of a range of equipment used in the organics processing and recycling industries, EDGE Innovate have recently debuted two new high capacity shredders; the VS420 and HS750. The two new products will take their place in EDGE’s ever-growing waste and organics shredding product line up and have been developed in response to the demands from processors to shred more efficiently, lowering cost, emissions and down time.  

General manager Ryan McParland from their Australian partner FOCUS enviro commented “EDGE never stop in their pursuit of delivering innovation and these two new machine certainly support that. Listening to customers and operators at the ground level has been the basis for providing such next generation shredders. The new features now increase safety, efficiency and reduce emissions while still delivering on the ‘lowest processing cost per tonne’ standard set by EDGE. With over 350 EDGE machines now operating in Australia, EDGE has acted on the local knowledge gained from each site and incorporated this into their design and the results are in the equipment performance.”

International Compost
Awareness Week
3 - 9 May 2020

Celebrating it's 25th anniversary in 2020, the week will look very different to previous years, but there is still plenty to get involved with.

The theme for 2020 is Soil Loves Compost.

Check out the ICAW website and Facebook page, as there ere are some great resources from the US Composting Council and ICAW team.

AORA has joined our global partners to promote ICAW and to broaden the understanding of compost use and promote awareness of the recycling of organic residuals.
Compostable Guidelines Webinar
Considerations for Compostable Plastic Packaging is a new APCO resource providing clear direction forward on the role of certified compostable plastic packaging in Australia.

The guide was developed in partnership with the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) and the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), and in consultation with APCO Members and key stakeholders.
Join the webinar on May 6 to hear from Lily Barnett from APCO, Peter Wadewitz from AORA and Rowan Williams from ABA as they discuss the purpose of the new guidelines and why this guide is so important.
Organics in the news
APCO "Our packaging future" released
APCO released the "Our packaging future" report earlier this month, which sets out strategies to reach the 2025 targets.

Melbourne composting facility receives final EPA approval
The $65 million facility, run by AORA member, SACYR will take kerbside organics material in a collaborative contract with eight councils and the MWRRG.

Organics demand increases
Peats Soil & Garden Supplies has seen a spike in demand for organics product, resulting in the creation of new jobs

Seattle's winning strategy for managing organics
Winemaker inspired to make world first industrial compostable stretch wrapping.
Of interest
Global Assessment of Municipal Organic Waste Production and Recycling
Read the International Solid Waste Associations paper that summarises the amounts of organic waste that arise worldwide and the quantities that are collected and recycled into compost and or biogas.

Soil Fertility, biodiversity and the gut microbiome
An article that examines the connection between pasture health and biodiversity of forages in pastures. The more diverse the pasture, the more resilient that entire plant community is to adverse factors like drought and pestilence

Why Compost is the cheapest irrigation system
Dr Sally Brown outlines the bottom line - more organic matter means the soil holds more water

To stop climate catastrophe, look to soil: study
The vast potential of soil to help halt climate change and why protecting soil carbon is a "win-win for farmers and the planet.

Turning crap into gold: why a composting habit will change your life
Learning how to deal with your organic waste during a time during COVID-19 isolation.

Over 1.5 million cups to be composted at the Boston Marathon
With water stations at every mile of the 26.2 mile race and almost 30 000 runners, this is one of the biggest sustainability initiatives of the event.
Keep an eye out for the June Organics edition of Waste Management Review
If you have a story, link or news to share with AORA members, please email Alex
Thank you to our Partners
AORA - Australian Organics Recycling Association
0434 625 472 | admin@aora.org.au