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8698.0 - Waste Management Industry, Australia, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/11/1998   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents results, in respect of the 1996-97 financial year, from the first survey of the waste management industry conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS welcomes comments and suggestions from users recommending industries and data items for inclusion in future service industries surveys. These comments should be addressed to:

The Director, Service Industries Surveys, ABS, PO Box 10, Belconnen, ACT, 2616.



INTRODUCTION

This publication presents results from a sample survey of employing private and public trading businesses in the waste management industry. It includes businesses whose main activity was the collection, transport and/or disposal of refuse (except through sewerage systems) (i.e. businesses classified to Class 9634 of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)).

In addition, the waste management activities of general government organisations (mostly local government authorities) were included in the survey, even though these organisations are defined to other classes in ANZSIC.

Tables 1 and 2 of this publication contain summary information about private and public trading businesses and general government organisations in the waste management industry. Tables 3-8 contain detailed data about the private and public trading sector, while table 9 contains data about the general government sector. Tables 10 and 11 contain information about quantities of waste and recyclables handled by businesses and organisations of both sectors.


BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS

There were 1,727 businesses and organisations involved in providing waste management services at the end of June 1997, consisting of 1,023 private and public trading businesses and 704 general government organisations. Many of the businesses and organisations in the industry carried out multiple waste management functions during 1996-97.

A large majority (89%) were involved in the collection and transport of waste. There were 845 private and public trading businesses and 688 general government organisations carrying out this activity. In contrast, more general government organisations (463) than private and public trading businesses (82) were involved in the operation of landfills at the end of June 1997.


SOURCES OF INCOME

During 1996-97, the 1,023 private and public trading businesses in the waste management industry generated total income of $1,493 million. The two major sources of this income were the collection and transport of waste which accounted for $876 million (representing 59% of total industry income) and the treatment/processing and/or disposal of waste which generated $380 million in income (representing 25% of total industry income).

Most (91%) of the income from the collection and transport of waste related to solid waste. The two major sources were commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste ($498 million) and domestic and municipal waste ($248 million).


Other major income sources for these businesses were the collection and transport of recyclables ($92 million) and the treatment/processing and/or sale of recyclables ($60 million).

General government organisations received $134 million from the treatment/processing and/or disposal of waste (66% of their total waste-related income) and $45 million from the collection and transport of waste (22% of their waste-related income).


EXPENDITURE

Private and public trading businesses in the waste management industry had total expenses of $1,351 million during 1996-97. Labour costs of $369 million represented 27% of total expenses with the average labour cost per employee being $39,200.

Other major expenses of the industry were fees paid for the treatment/disposal of waste ($167 million), depreciation and amortisation ($153 million), contract expenses for waste management services ($144 million) and on-road motor vehicle running expenses ($135 million).


General government organisations had total waste management expenses of $833 million. Contract expenses of $420 million and wages and salaries expenses of $154 million were the major items of expense representing 50% and 18% of total expenses respectively.



PROFITABILITY

The private and public trading businesses in the industry recorded an operating profit before tax of $142 million, which represented an operating profit margin of 9.6%. Businesses employing 5-19 persons had the highest (16.5%) operating profit margin.


EMPLOYMENT

At the end of June 1997, there were 9,956 persons employed by private and public trading businesses in the waste management industry. A further 608 owner drivers worked for businesses in the industry on a contract basis.

There were only 554 working proprietors and partners of businesses in the industry. Accordingly, the number of employees (9,402 persons) represented 94% of industry employment. A total of 8,230 persons (83%) worked on a full-time basis.


In addition general government organisations employed 4,891 persons on waste management activities.



BUSINESS SIZE

There were 728 private and public trading businesses in the industry at the end of June 1997 which employed less than five persons. While this represented 71% of all businesses in the industry, these ‘micro’ businesses only accounted for 15% of industry employment and 9% of total industry income. In contrast, there were 11 businesses employing 100 persons or more, which accounted for 44% of industry employment and 56% of total industry income.


STATE AND TERRITORY DIMENSION

The respective roles and hence the relative contributions of the public and private trading sector and general government organisations in waste management activities varies from State to State.

At the end of June 1997, 31% of the private and public trading businesses in the waste management industry had operations in New South Wales. These businesses accounted for 33% of employment (3,255 persons) and 42% of total industry income ($626 million). The New South Wales proportion of industry income was boosted by $229 million in income from treatment/processing and/or disposal of waste, which represented 60% of the industry's income from this activity.


In contrast, more businesses in the waste management industry operated in Victoria (33% of all businesses). However these businesses accounted for only 24% of industry employment (2,390 persons) and 22% of total industry income ($323 million).


The major income source for general government organisations was from the treatment/processing and/or disposal of waste ($134 million) which was dominated by Victoria (27% of this income), Queensland (23%) and New South Wales (22%).



QUANTITIES OF WASTE

During 1996-97, 21.2 million tonnes of solid waste were received and disposed of at landfills. This amount comprised 10.8 million tonnes at privately operated landfills and 10.5 million tonnes at landfills operated by general government organisations. Landfill operations varied between States and Territories, with New South Wales’ privately operated landfills receiving and disposing of 5.1 million tonnes of solid waste compared to 2.1 million tonnes at general government operated landfills. In contrast, Queensland's privately operated landfills received and disposed of 1.1 million tonnes of solid waste, while general government operated landfills received and disposed of three times that amount (3.3 million tonnes).


QUANTITIES OF RECYCLABLES

In total, 1.5 million tonnes of recyclables were owned and sold by waste management businesses and organisations in 1996-97. Private and public trading businesses accounted for the majority of these recyclables (1.0 million tonnes). In terms of tonnage, paper and cardboard (0.4 million tonnes) and concrete (0.4 million tonnes) were the major items recycled. These quantities do not include the amount of recyclables which were owned and sold by businesses which are not part of the waste management industry.

KEY AGGREGATES, BUSINESSES/ORGANISATIONS IN WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Private and public
trading sector
General government
sector
Businesses/organisations at end June (no.)
1 023
704
Employment at end June (no.)
9 956
4 891
Income
Collection and transport of waste ($m)
875.9
44.6
Treatment/processing/disposal of waste ($m)
379.9
134.3
Other income ($m)
236.7
24.1
Total ($m)
1 492.5
203.0
Expenses
Labour costs ($m)
368.9
176.8
Contract and subcontract expenses for waste management services ($m)
144.0
420.1
Fees for the treatment/disposal of waste ($m)
166.7
74.4
Waste disposal levies/contributions paid directly to EPA ($m)
36.4
10.3
Other expenses ($m)
634.5
151.4
Total ($m)
1 350.5
833.0
Operating profit before tax ($m)
142.0
. .
Operating profit margin (%)
9.6
. .
Industry gross product ($m)
711.2
176.8
Quantity of waste received and disposed of at landfills operated by this business/organisation
Solid waste (’000 tonnes)
10 757.0
10 463.5
Sludge and liquid waste (’000 tonnes)
35.8
5 474.0
Total (’000 tonnes)
10 792.8
15 937.5



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