Proof recycling is big business
LEYBURN kindling merchant Brett Rostron is - all puns aside - setting the southern Queensland commercial world on fire.
The Southern Downs businessman, who launched his Leyburn Kindling operation more than two years ago, has just landed a weighty supply contract with a major Australian supermarket.
When the Bush Tele caught up with him last week, he had 18 pallets packed and stacked for his first delivery to Coles.
We are recycling timber that was effectively waste product and using solar to convert it into something that's very much in demand.
It's a fair accomplishment for the local operator, who uses recycled timber and has a minimal work crew.
"It is an exciting time for us," Mr Rostron said. "This deal has taken 12 months of negotiations but we got there and it's a pretty impressive addition to what we were doing."
The pallets weigh in at 500kg and the initial delivery equalled about 10 tonnes of 100% recycled timber.
"In a normal season, we have been doing 300 pallets to stores and wood merchants," Mr Rostron said.
"And it's a business we have been building up steadily.
"I started working on my wood splitting invention six years ago and that machine is now the cornerstone of our business.
"So we've been in it for the long haul.
"At the start, I don't think people took us seriously but I hope they are starting to now."
In a move to firm up supply, Mr Rostron bought royalties to the timber mill, helping guarantee quantity into the future.
"Everything is slowly falling into place for us," he said.
"And I would like to think that we are proof recycling can work on a commercial level."
The Leyburn operator has built a business around buying various grade timber and recycling it through his patented splitter and reselling the product under the kindling label.
As testament to his attention to the environment, his entire operation is solar powered and he is investigating the possibility of complementing sun energy with a steam engine.
"We are recycling timber that was effectively waste product and using solar to convert it into something that's very much in demand," Mr Rostron said.
"But you have to keep working on ways to improve what you do."