Organics demand increases

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

Peats Soil & Garden Supplies has been at the coalface of South Australian organics recycling for decades. Peter Wadewitz, Peats Group Managing Director, tells Waste Management Review COVID-19 has created the perfect storm with an increase in organic wastes. He says this comes against a broader backdrop of increased public policy settings.

The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) recently conducted a workshop in Mannum, SA and several throughout the state last year in conjunction with Jeffries, Bio Gro and a range of other composters.

“We’re all very busy. Things have worked well in Australia and it’s all under the AORA banner,” Mr Wadewitz says.

Mr Wadewitz, who is also the National Chair of AORA, says that AORA will play an increasing role now more than ever in driving Australia’s sustainable future with immense opportunities for the organics industry as a whole.

Peats Group is predicting that amid a challenging year for many, this will be one of its busiest years in sales. He says the company has put on almost 10 people as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and can’t keep up with demand.

“Our tonnages has gone up massively as a result of the virus – we’ve seen an increase up to 15 per cent,” he says.

“The capital employment opportunities are triple what we’re currently doing.”

Peats Soil & Garden Supplies has been in the horticultural business for almost 50 years. Through its four sites – Willunga, Brinkley, Dublin and now Whyalla, the company has over the years developed an array of broad-acre products, collaborating closely with scientists and the broader organics recycling industry to ensure products are certified to Australian standards.

Last year, the company announced its fourth compost and renewable energy manufacturing site, located at Whyalla City Council’s Mount Laura Waste and Resource Recovery Centre.

The site includes an Advanced Composting Facility which accepts green, organic and food waste and digests it using anaerobic digestion to produce biogas for sale into the energy grid. The compost product can be sold into surrounding agricultural markets for soil improvement and carbon enhancement.

In December, Veolia signed a $50 million contract with the City of Darwin to manage and operate the region’s Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility for seven years. Mr Wadewitz says that Peats Soil & Garden Supplies will take the green organics out of the landfill and then compost it. This will add to its existing operations with commercial organics and process upwards of 10,000 tonnes.

You can read the full story in the June Organics edition of Waste Management Review.

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