5 May 2021
International Composting Awareness Week Special Edition
From the National Executive Director
I am writing this during the Waste2021 Conference in Coffs Harbour, in-between meeting people from all parts of the waste and recycling industries. It is good mingle face-to-face after 15 months of Zoom overload.
What is becoming clear is that everyone wants to talk organics. Our industry - the work we do and the opportunities we represent - is the flavour of the month. It’s an opportunity too good to miss, and how appropriate that it’s happening in International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW, 2-8 May)!
For ICAW 2021, the world’s leading organics recycling industry associations have joined together to highlight the economic and environmental value of organics recycling. You can read more about this collaboration below.
AORA’s recent industry capacity study found that the industry is capable of processing an additional 51% of organic materials given the capacity of their existing operations. This means that there is significant inherent growth capacity, but also a real need for new investment if we are to achieve a 95% organics recycling rate by 2031.
How do we achieve this? Come to the AORA 2021 Annual Conference to find out. It’s Australia’s biggest and most important organics recycling event, with a stunning lineup of national and international leaders in our industry and beyond.
It’s an opportunity to meet friends and colleagues face to face, and enjoy a fantastic program of speakers, as well as the spectacular location in the heart of Hunter wine country. See more at aoraconference.com.au

Peter Olah
National Executive Officer
Compost stores carbon and helps feed the soil

AORA have joined our global composting partners to highlight how composting can recycle carbon, help mitigate climate change and feed the soil. International Compost Awareness Week (2-8 May) showcases how recycling organic wastes into compost can benefit the environment and people by locking up carbon in soil, returning nutrients to degraded land while also supporting food security and improved nutrition.

Globally, composting currently:
  • Recycles 83 million tonnes of biowaste every year.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year through storing carbon in soil and offsetting fertilizer use. This is equivalent to driving an average car for 36 billion kilometers (23 billion miles); almost 95 thousand times the distance between the earth and the moon!
  • Recycles 1 million tonnes of plant macro nutrients, equivalent to EURO 702 million, CAD 1.1 billion or USD 807 million a year.

The Economic Contribution and the Capability of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry

In 2020-21 AORA commissioned two reports, The Economic Contribution of the Australian Recycling Organics Industry and the Capability of the Australian Recycling Organics Industry. Here are some highlights from the reports;

  • In 2018-19, the industry recycled 7.5 million tonnes of organic material.
  • Garden organics makes up the largest portion of organic materials recycled nationally comprising 41.6% of materials, biosolids (18.8%), timber (13.7%) and food organics with 7.2%.
  • Collectively, the industry has a turnover of over $2 billion.
  • Key finding of the Capability Survey 2020 is that the industry is capable of processing an additional 51 per cent of organic materials given the physical capacity of their existing operations.
  • The industry believes it is able to increase by 52.5% the total tonnes of products sold given market demand which is equivalent to an additional 3.4 million tonnes of compost and non-compost product sales each year.

These reports have primarily been restricted to Members. The Economic Contribution report is now publicly available on our website for download.
Hydrostatic shredding with Terex Ecotec: Finlay Waste and Recycling

AORA Partner News

The Rural City of Wangaratta, like most communities across Australia, faces major challenges with the collection and disposal of waste. Most notably, a growing population and ageing landfill. As such, it put out a request for tender for a new, diesel powered, rubber track mounted, slow speed shredder in 2019.

Council received 12 submissions, with the final tender awarded to Finlay Waste and Recycling. Finlay delivered a Terex Ecotec TDS820 Slow Speed Shredder to Wangaratta City Council in February this year.

According to Brian Bowman, council’s Waste Operations Team Leader, while the quality of the TDS was integral to council’s decision, Finlay’s committed approach to customer support was the standout.

Compost Resources
Did you miss last week's AORA Member webinar?

Carbon finance opportunities for the organics recycling industry webinar with Julien Gastaldi.

You will need to be logged in to the AORA Member Portal to watch this webinar. If you are having trouble accessing, please email alex@aora.org.au
Healthy Soils by Application of Organic Matter through Local Organic Waste
Join us for our upcoming Healthy Soils by Application of Organic Matter through Local Organic Waste. This is a Soil Science Australia (Queensland Branch) and AORA joint event on 14 May at Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre.

Speakers include:

- Cr Tanya Milligan, Mayor - Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- Peter Olah,National Executive Officer - AORA
- Brad Smith, Managing Director - Grassdale Feedlot
- Dr Maryam Esfandbod, QLD Branch President - SSA
Join us at the AORA Conference
If you have a story, link or news to share with AORA members, please email Alex
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AORA - Australian Organics Recycling Association
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