28 February 2020
AORA February News

We would like to welcome the following new Individual Members to AORA
  • Michelle Wattus
  • Paul Luckman
  • Kane Goldsworthy
  • Jarrad Ruddock
  • Kirsteen MacLeod
  • Kevin Wilkinson
  • Stephen Schmitz
  • Philippe Najean
  • Justin Jones.
From the National Executive Officer
AORA, as a national industry association, ultimately has only one job: to make the operating environment for our members better, more predictable, and more profitable.
We are in the fortunate position that, if we can do this for our members, we’ll have a stronger organics recycling industry better able to deliver the environmental and economic benefits of our industry’s products: waste stream reduction, drought mitigation, water retention, improved soil quality, decreased soil salinity, quicker bushfire recovery, improved agricultural productivity, and increased soil carbon capture. It’s a pretty compelling story, and one we will tell in full in our upcoming national industry policy document, 20:20 VISION: AUSTRALIA’S WORLD LEADING ORGANICS RECYCLING INDUSTRY OF 2040, AND HOW TO GET THERE.
This will be launched at the AORA National Conference from 1-3 April in the Hunter Valley wine country, and will be just one highlight of a program packed with outstanding international and local presenters, demonstrations of the newest and best plant and equipment available to the industry, and fantastic social events. Don’t miss out; go to www.aoraconference.com.au and register now.
In the meantime, as an AORA member or sponsor, you have an opportunity to have your say on the state of the industry at a national and international level:
The Australian Council of Recycling is surveying industry stakeholders to test the level of confidence in the future direction of the sector. The survey is online at: www.wastemanagementreview.com.au/how-confident-are-you-in-australias-recycling-future/ and closes on 9 March.
The Global Soil Partnership, which is part of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, is undertaking a survey to measure its progress towards its key global objective: to promote sustainable soil management. The survey is online at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSee1oaXApnU3gdbsz_Ff2Juo_00gpDIsMl0ASDo7YIFxIdbbg/formResponse.
As always, if you have any questions about any issue, or suggestions about how AORA might be able to do things better, contact me at peter@aora.org.au or 0458 404 898.

Peter Olah
National Executive Officer
Two are better than one
EDGE Trommels for Biomix

Biomix have recently purchased their second EDGE TRT622 trommel screen in less than 12 months to add to their processing plant in Victoria
Biomix have been utilising innovative technologies - such as the EDGE Innovative organic recycling solutions with the experience of Australian partners FOCUS enviro - and taking a forward-thinking approach to managing over a 100,000 tonnes of green organics per annum.

Market Opportunities for Recycled Organics AORA QLD Industry Breakfast Summary
We were thrilled to have over 50 people joined us for the AORA Queensland Industry Breakfast earlier this week.

Dr Georgina Davis, CEO of the Queensland Farmer's Federation presented on “Opportunities for Recycled Organic Products in Queensland Agricultural Markets”, an informative and timely presentation.

Nick Behrens, Director of Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions spoke about how the Queensland Organics Composting Industry is making a valuable contribution to the economy and communities across the State.

AORA Qld Chair, Greg Whitehead provided a warm welcome and AORA NEO Peter Olah, outlined the road map for AORA for the future.
Soil Improvement with Recycled Organics in Broad Acre Farming Event Summary
A great line-up of speakers and diverse audience attended AORA’S most recent workshop in Mannum on Soil Improvement with Recycled Organics in Broad Acre Farming.

Attendees first heard from Tim Marshall from TM Organics to gain a solid introduction to key attributes of soil health and opportunities for improvement with an emphasis on organic inputs.

Michael Eyres from Field Service gave insight into targeted application of compost in the broadacre setting with an emphasis on sandy soils and addressing soil inefficiency as opposed to soil deficiency.

PIRSA officers Amanda Schapel, David Woodard and Brain Hughes presented results from various trials including state soil carbon baselining work and various trials for improving poorly producing soils.

Michael Cutting of Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin described the Australian Government’s Water Efficiency Program and Peter Olah, AORA’s National Executive Officer described key elements of AORA’s National Policy which is currently being developed to strengthen the position of the organics recycling industry nationally. Overall a very informative day with some great discussion that AORA SA Branch are now following up. 
This project was made possible with support from the South Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and NRM levies.
Image courtesy of Quinton McCallum - Stock Journal
Compost and soil moisture field day
Visit the Greater Sydney Local Land Services’ (GS LLS) Demonstration Farm and learn how compost made from recycled organics affects soil moisture content over the growing season.

GS LLS, MRA Consulting, and Agnov8 invite you to the Demonstration Farm to learn about how compost impacts soil water retention and could reduce your requirements for crop irrigation.
Have you registered for the AORA Conference?
Join us at the AORA Conference in the Hunter Valley from 1 - 3 April.

The three day event includes a demonstration day, welcome drinks, 2-day conference and conference dinner. The Hon Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management will open the Conference at the Demonstration Day on 1 April.

Keynote speakers for the Conference are;
Jeff Lowenfels
Aurel Lubke
Dr Jeff Baldock.

The Conference Theme is Pathways to sustainable growth and the program is split into the following sections;
A Common Vision
Informed Opinion: FOGO
Informed Opinion: Carbon
Engaged Communities
Informed Opinion: In the Field
Informed Opinion: What's Next?

We are sure that there will be something for everyone in the program!

Organics in the news
The PFAS and the furious: the new and deserved scrutiny on the 'forever chemicals'
GreenBiz explores PFAS and some implications for circularity as PFAS receives a growing amount of attention — and scrutiny — from everyone from environmental groups to the mainstream media, and its story continues to unfold.

Researcher takes on unenviable task of finding out if dog poo can be safely used in our gardens
AORA Member, Emily Bryson is a researcher doing society and the environment a solid by figuring out if dog poo can be composted for use in growing our fruit and vegetables.

Compostable Plastic on Plastic Wall of Shame
Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Snapple, Loblaws, and Booster Juice are the first seven companies to be featured on the Plastic Wall of Shame. Loblaws is blamed for using compostable plastics.

Smart compost aims for more growth with less waste
A new smart compost specially formulated to grow healthier, longer-lasting fruit, vegetables and crops will soon be trialled by an innovative South Australian organics company, Peats.
Of interest
Finding the right solution to a grisly problem
Bushfires this season have left an estimated 1 billion dead animals in their wake, their carcasses dotting the blackened landscape. Carcasses have already been flagged as a potential biosecurity threat, but they can also play a positive role in the landscape.

Eat your food, and the package too
Bowls made of mushrooms, cups fashioned from seaweed, and detergent-style pods for food: Designers are creating ephemeral alternatives to plastic. But are we ready to accept them?

Compost to couture: Why ethical fashion is no hippie niche
As fashion thinking changes even industry players at the highest level are focusing on less stuff and more love.

One to watch - Dark Waters
Opening in Australian cinemas in March, Mark Ruffalo stars in this film focussing on true events in the US town of Parkersburg, West Virginia, where a local factory began making Teflon in the 1950s. Despite the industry  allegedly knowing the risks  of these compounds , over 1.7 million pounds of PFOA   – a particular type of PFAS – were emitted to the environment between 1951 and 2003.

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