30 September 2020
AORA September News
From the National Executive Officer
In early 2020, AORA commissioned a study from Australian Economic Advocacy Solutions (AEAS) entitled The Economic Contribution of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry. That report shows that the Australian Organics Recycling Industry is providing a considerable contribution to Australian economy enabling over 4,845 jobs, $366 million in wages, $1.9 billion in supply chain opportunities and $724 million in industry value add. 
Modelling within the report confirmed that this is only a fraction of what would be achieved if Governments across Australia were able to lift the recycling rate of organic material. However, this potential benefit is contingent not only upon the right policy settings but also industry’s capacity to take up the opportunity. 
That’s why AORA has commissioned a further study from AEAS to examine the organic recycling industry’s existing and potential capacity.
You will have recently received an invitation to undertake an industry survey to support this new study. All survey returns are strictly confidential and results will only be produced in aggregate for the industry. AEAS will not share any individual response with any external party including AORA itself.
A summary survey report will be provided to survey participants and one randomly selected respondent will win free registration to the 2021 AORA National Conference on 15-17 June 2021 at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.
Most importantly, the real benefit will come from the ability for AORA to demonstrate to decision makers that our industry is poised and ready to seize the opportunity for growth. 
The survey is online at:
Please take a few moments today to complete this important survey. It is open for responses until close of business on Friday, 9 October 2020.
If you have any questions about the survey please contact me or Nick Behrens of AEAS on 0448 034 355.

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
Welcome to our newest AORA Members
We would like to welcome the following new Members to AORA

  • IQ Energy (VIC)
  • Wedderburn (NSW)
  • Beyond Ag (VIC)
Save the Date
AORA Annual General Meeting
Thursday 19 November
1pm AEDT
Information about Board Nominations and Meeting Papers will be distributed soon.


AORA SA Branch Meeting
Tuesday 27 October
2pm ACST

Overdue Membership Payments
Please be aware that Membership payments are due today - September 30.

Member access to the AORA website/member portal will automatically expire at 11.59pm tonight and your membership will cease. This also means you are unable to attend and vote at the AGM.

We understand that many members have been impacted by COVID-19 and we do have flexible payment terms to ensure you can remain a member. Please contact Alex to discuss - 0434 625 472 or alex@aora.org.au
AORA Research Awards open for Nominations
AORA is seeking nominations for the AORA Student Research Awards for Advancing Organics Recycling!

Research considered for an award may apply to any stage of the supply chains of source separated urban derived organic materials, food and fibre processing residues, biosolids, and also agricultural residues such as animal manures and mortalities.

Eligibility Criteria
  1. Postgraduate students at Honours, Masters and PhD level enrolled at an Australian or New Zealand university.
  2. Have carried out postgraduate work that advances organics recycling activities and supply chains.
  3. Have finalised their Honours, Masters or PhD degree between 1 January and 31 December 2020.
Nominations close 8 Jan 2021.
Vale Hans Van Schaik
AORA SA Branch sadly notes the recent passing of one of the leading pioneers of our industry in South Australia, Hans Van Schaik, who was the founder of Bio Gro in the South East.

Hans is remembered as a visionary who together with his wife Marjan in the 1970s sought to understand how to better utilise sawdust, pinebark and peat that were going to landfill. Hans went on to create recycled products for gardening and landscaping.

Hans built his own equipment for processing and handling raw materials and finished products at a time when the industry that now builds such equipment was not yet in existence. Hans’ legacy of vision, hard work and innovation have endured in the family business under the leadership of his son Stephen.

Today Bio Gro are widely regarded as a leading innovator within the Australian horticulture and waste management industries.

AORA is grateful for the role Hans played in establishing an industry voice for organics recycling. AORA extends its sympathies to the Van Schaik family.
CEA’s Komptech Crambo shredders are working over-time at Bio Gro

AORA Partner News

CEA’s Komptech Crambo shredders are working over-time at Bio Gro’s Melbourne organics facility to keep up with a steady influx of material.

Landscaping and permaculture suppliers have reported an unprecedented demand in recent months, with an increasing number of Australian’s looking to become self-sufficient in light of COVID-19. While the new wave of home gardeners is challenging supply and demand for some, it’s welcome news to waste management and horticulture specialists Bio Gro.

Operating out of South Australia and Victoria, Bio Gro produces nutrient rich products tailored for a wide range of horticultural and agricultural applications. According to Sage Hahn, General Manager of Bio Gro’s Melbourne facility, the application of Bio Gro products to soil results in a range of environmental benefits. These include, she says, improved soil health, water savings, improved crop productivity and an enhanced ability to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon within soils. In addition to functioning as a distribution centre for premium potting mixes, Bio Gro’s Melbourne facility operates as an organics resource recovery centre.

AORA SA response to SA Food Waste
and Waste Strategies
AORA SA have recently provided a response to the Valuing our Food Waste: South Australia and A Vision for the Circular Economy: Waste Strategy 2020-2025.

Key points include;
  • In a South Australian context, organics to composting and other recycled organics recycling processes produces better outcomes than waste-to-energy.
  • AORA seek a more wide-reaching description of recycling and suggest “Recycling – including composting/ aerobic processes, anaerobic digestion and biochar processing.
  • AORA supports the targets set in the SA Waste Strategy which are largely reflective of our industry position nationally. However, we seek base lines being established of preventable amounts of avoidable waste going to landfill and targets in regional centres.
  • There are no diversion targets set for non-metro parts of SA. Given potential for compost in farming sectors, encouraging regions to develop plans for FOGO diversion through organics recycling would be an appropriate start.
  • In the context of a circular economy, AORA would like to see targets set for the procurement by South Australian government agencies and local governments for recycled products derived from SA FOGO streams and C&I organic streams.
AORA VIC consultation with EPA & DEWLP
AORA Vic is heavily involved in consultations with departments of the State Government in advance of a number of legislative introductions that will impact directly on the organics recycling sector in Victoria:
EPA Victoria
In June 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Vic) will implement an updated Environmental Protection Act with Subordinate Legislation. AORA Vic has expressed fears that the Act will be over-prescriptive towards the organics sector as part of an overall reaction to transgressions that occurred recently in other sectors.
Our concerns and recommendations have been submitted last week in a formal Position Statement to the Minister for the Environment, officers at EPA, Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Sustainability Victoria, Agriculture Vic, Metropolitan and Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups.. It was also shared with other Industry Associations with whom we share common ground.
This department is the lead player in the establishment of a new Victorian Waste Authority and the preparation of new Waste Act that it will implement. The main thrust is to translate the recently adopted Circular Economy Policy into a legislated instrument. All the agencies noted above will be involved in this process and there will be consultation with EPA.
AORA Vic has cautiously welcomed the stated intent of the new Act which alludes to the development of the organics sector but has raised concerns about the multiplicity of agencies involved and about the possibilities that EPA regulations may interfere with the developmental initiatives proposed.
Add your business to the
Planet Ark Business Recycling Website
Planet Ark have recently revamped their Business Recycling website, where they list waste management services available for businesses.They have merged it with Recycling Near You with the purpose of providing one national platform for recycling information, whether at home or work.

It is free to list your business (and free for public to use) so now is the time to update your existing service listings or for new providers to register your services.
AORA Members in the news
Peats Darwin-Shoal Bay mulch & organics processing facility official opening
Peats Group Ltd are proud to announce the official opening of their fifth organics processing and manufacturing site. Co-located at Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility in the Northern Territory, the official opening event was held last week. Peats commenced organics processing operations conjunction with processing partners Katherine Tree Maintenance (KTM) and site operators Veolia, resulting in production of 10,000 cubic metres of mulch products in the first three months.

Soils can play a major role in storing carbon
The Science show visits Victorian farm where Soils are being used to trap carbon with the help of fungi. Degraded soils are being restored with multi-cropping, and a new approach to grazing is allowing plants to collect carbon and deposit it deep in the soil. Features Declan McDonald, SESL and Matthew Warnken from Agriprove.
Of interest
Managing Asbestos in or on Soil Guidance Feedback sought
SafeWork NSW has recently revised the Managing Asbestos in or on soil guidance material and is seeking feedback from relevant stakeholders. Your feedback and any questions can be sent to asbestosdemolitionservices@safework.nsw.gov.au by Friday 24 October 2020.

Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020
The Bill seek to phase in the end of the 645,000 tonnes of unprocessed plastic, paper, glass and tyres that Australia ships overseas each year.

One to watch: Kiss the Ground now streaming on Netflix
Kiss the Ground sheds light on an alternative approach to farming, “regenerative agriculture”, that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.

Webinar: Save Organics in Soil - Biological Cycle and Sustainable Agriculture
European Compost Network is discussing the supporting actions that farmers and other actors working in the rural areas need to save organics in soil. Panellists from various European countries will be taking part in this online event.

If you have a story, link or news to share with AORA members, please email Alex
AORA - Australian Organics Recycling Association
0434 625 472| admin@aora.org.au