Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4602.0.55.005 - Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates, 2013 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2013  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 The ABS Waste Account Australia, Experimental Estimates, (WAAEE) 2013, is a pilot project, which adds to the existing suite of environmental accounts produced by the ABS based on the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA). It consists of the following data tables for 2009-10:

  • Waste generated by industry, government and households, by waste material, '000 tonnes (Physical supply).
  • Waste management, treatment and disposal, by waste material, '000 tonnes (Physical use).
  • Supply of waste goods and services, by industry, $million (Purchasers' prices) (Monetary supply).
  • Use of waste goods and services, by industry and households, $million (Purchasers' prices) (Monetary use).

2 Additional data and analysis has been included to add further context including feature articles and main findings.

3 These experimental estimates explore concepts and methods while also assessing the quality and limitations of available data sources. The timing and frequency of future WAAEE will be determined in consultation with stakeholders and the availability of data and resources.

4 The WAAEE integrates data from different sources into a consolidated framework making it possible to link physical data on waste to economic data, such as those contained in Australia’s National Accounts.


ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING FRAMEWORK

5 The WAAEE was developed using the SEEA, which is a measurement framework that provides a range of metrics that link information on the environment and the economy. The SEEA was first published by the United Nations in 1993 and was adopted as an international statistical standard in 2012 by the United Nations Statistical Commission. For further information on the SEEA and the ABS environmental accounts program please see Completing the Picture - Environmental Accounting in Practice, May 2012 (cat. no. 4628.0.55.001).


PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE OF SOLID WASTE IN THE WAAEE

6 The physical supply table records the total supply of solid waste products within the economy (including imports). The physical use table records the total use of solid waste materials within the economy (including exports).

7 The supply and use methodology is based on the fundamental economic identity that supply of products equals use of products.


Scope

8 The physical waste supply and use tables present aggregates of all available physical data (tonnes) in terms of the supply and use of solid waste in the Australian economy for the financial year 2009-10. This is set out in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2. Waste Generation and Management
Diagram: Figure 2. Waste Generation and Management


9 The SEEA defines solid waste as "discarded materials that are no longer required by the owner or user. Where the unit discarding the materials receives no payment for the discarded materials that are no longer required by the owner or user. Where the unit discarding the materials receives no payment for the materials then the flow is considered a residual flow of solid waste. Where the unit discarding the materials receives a payment but the actual residual value of the material is small, for example in the case of scrap metal sold to a recycling firm, this flow is considered a product flow of solid waste."

10 Data on the physical supply and use of waste are primarily derived from Waste and Recycling in Australia (WRiA) 2011 commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). The WRiA compiles solid waste and recycling data published by the states, territories and industry for the 2008-09 financial year. It presents data on the recycling of solid waste, energy recovery from solid waste, and the disposal of solid waste to landfill. The report presents data by material category and material type in terms of solid waste streams. The ABS uses the SEEA to transform this data into a framework to enable linkages between waste supply, waste use and the various economic aggregates contained in the Australian National Accounts.


Coverage

11 Coverage for both the physical supply and use tables includes the following waste materials:
  • Paper and Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Organics
  • Masonry
  • Electrical and Electronic
  • Hazardous
  • Leather and Textiles
  • Tyres and other Rubber
  • Timber and Wood products
  • Inseparable/unknown

12 The following waste materials were out of scope and were excluded in the physical supply and use tables:
  • Liquid waste
  • Radioactive waste
  • Mineral waste from the mining industry
  • Wastewater (untreated effluent, sewage water and trade waste). For further information see Water Account, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no 4610.0)
  • Emissions
  • Fly ash
  • Fishing waste

13 Industry classifications used for the physical supply and use tables follow the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). The categories used in the tables are:
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Electricity, Gas, Water
  • Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services - Subdivision 29
  • Construction
  • Local Government Administration - Class 7530
  • Services

14 Services consists of the following industries:
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Retail trade
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • Information Media and Telecommunications
  • Financial and Insurance Services
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Public Administration and Safety - excluding Class 7530
  • Education and Training
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Arts and Recreation services
  • Other Services

15 In the WAAEE the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream is used to estimate household waste. MSW includes waste collected directly (e.g. kerbside collections of recycling and waste to landfill) and indirectly (e.g. householder drop off at transfer stations, householder self-haul to landfill) from households. It also includes some Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste where local governments provide (directly or indirectly) a collection service that covers businesses and households.


Data Sources

16 The physical estimates contained in this publication are drawn from a wide range of ABS and non-ABS data sources, including:

METHODOLOGY

Physical supply (generation) of waste

17 Before allocating data to industries and the household sectors a total waste generated amount was derived from WRiA with the inclusion of additional data sources (see non-ABS data sources above) considered in scope of the WAAEE.

18 The Australian National Accounts Input-Output tables (cat. no. 5209.055.001) was used to allocate waste generated to industries. Each product balance describes the supply (domestic output + imports) and the use (intermediate consumption and final demand) of the product at a detailed level. The Intermediate Use of specific products were aggregated to certain waste flow categories for specific industries as presented in Tables 1 and 2.


Waste generation by the Mining Industry

19 Estimates of total non-mineral waste generated by the mining industry were estimated using publicly available annual sustainability reports sourced from Australian mining companies. These reports also provided employment numbers (including contractors), which were used to approximate the average amount of non-mineral waste generated per employee. A total non-mineral waste generated amount was then derived using Australian Industry (cat no. 8155.0). The total waste generated was then allocated using the Australian National Accounts Input-Output tables (cat. no. 5209.0.55.001) to aggregate the waste flow categories by material to the mining industry.


Waste Generation by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Industry

20 Data from the Organics Recycling in Australia Report 2010 relating to primary production was used to estimate organic waste generation, recovery and disposal. The total organic waste generated was allocated to the agricultural sector of the WAAEE.


Waste generation by Households

21 The quality of Information available on household waste from the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream varies across states and territories. The WAAEE used the NSW Kerbside Audit Study as the benchmark for the allocation of waste materials for households across Australia. This study covered a large sample area consisting of 51 Local Government Areas in the Sydney Metropolitan Area and Extended Regulated Area. All three waste collection systems were covered by this study - residual waste, recycling, and garden organics, and included waste materials going to facilities other than landfills.

22 The MSW stream includes wastes from the operations of local governments despite some wastes from households classified as C&I or Construction and Demolition (C&D). Household demolition or construction activities undertaken by households but collected by skip operators are produced by the MSW stream but allocated to the C&D stream. As a result of this practice part of the MSW materials were allocated to industries as "Inseparable/Unknown" waste.

23 The kerbside audits did not provide sufficient data on E-waste which was allocated across industries and households using data from the Study of Australia’s Current and Future E-Waste Recycling Infrastructure Capacity and Needs, 2010, commissioned by DSEWPaC.

24 For plastics, the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) identifies specific generators of plastic waste in its annual National Plastics Recycling Survey on consumption, recovery and recycling of plastics. The WAAEE allocated 44% of plastics waste to households based on this survey and the remaining 56% of plastic waste was allocated to industries using the Australian National Accounts Input/Output table.

25 Inseparable/Unknown was allocated to industries and households using broad indicators derived from the Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables 2008-09 (cat. no. 5209.0.55.001).


Physical waste use (management)

26 The WAAEE physical use table was based on WRiA, 2011 National Plastics Recycling Survey, The Study of Australia’s Current and Future E-Waste Recycling Infrastructure Capacity and Needs, 2010 and ABS Waste Management Services 2009-10 (cat. no. 8698.0). The total physical waste use was balanced to equal total waste generation.

27 WRiA, Table 4.9: Waste generation, recycling and recovery rates by material disaggregates relevant waste streams by destination (landfill or recycling) This breakdown, calculated as a proportion of waste materials disposed to landfill or recovery, was applied to the totals estimated in physical waste generation.

28 Total waste treated (by landfill and recovery) by ANZSIC subdivision 29 (Waste Management Services) was taken from ABS Waste Management Services, Australia (cat. no. 8698.0).

29 To align with the SEEA framework the exports of waste materials is considered separate to domestic recovery as these have undergone transformation and/or been sold. For further information please see Waste Imports and Exports (below).


Timber waste

30 The ABS Waste Management Services survey (cat. no. 8698.0) publishes data on timber waste disposal and recovery at facilities other than landfills. This survey was used in conjunction with Recycled Organics data on the proportion of timber waste in organics, and the National Waste Report (NWR) data to estimate the amount of timber waste generated.

31 The NWR was used to estimate the amount of timber waste sent to landfill, in particular Table 2.38: Average proportions of different materials in MSW waste sent to landfill; Table 2.42: Average proportions of different materials in C&I waste sent to landfill; and for C&D materials Figure 2.83: NSW - C&D materials landfilled, 2006-07.

32 Industries other than the waste management industry also deal with waste management issues. Insufficient data was available to allocate their contribution and they were assigned to "Other industries".


Plastics waste

33 The Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) represents the chemical and plastic industry and conduct an annual National Plastics Recycling Survey on the consumption, recovery and recycling of plastics. The results from the 2011 survey provide a comprehensive picture of consumption, flow and recycling in plastics and were used in the production of estimates in the WAAEE.


Data extrapolation

34 The relative proportions of waste materials generated by each industry sector and households for 2008-09 were used for 2009-10 estimates. This also applied to the use of waste services by industries for landfill and recovery purposes.

35 Where data sources were not available for every year, estimates were derived using the proportions for the available time periods. The physical supply and use WAAEE tables for 2009-10 were extrapolated using the 2008-09 WRiA. The Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) Table 5: Gross Value Added (GVA) by Industry, was used to calculate the GVA movement from 2008-09 to 2009-10.

36 Household waste generation for 2009-10 was derived using Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) Table 42: Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE). The movement in the HFCE from 2008-09 to 2009-10 was calculated and applied to the total waste generated by the household sector in 2008-09 and used to derive estimates for 2009-10.

37 Data for both imports and exports of waste materials were obtained from international trade data and are included in the 2009-10 waste supply and use physical tables. See waste imports and exports (below) for further information.


MONETARY SUPPLY AND USE

Scope

38 The Monetary supply and use tables present aggregates in monetary terms ($million) for the supply and use of waste goods and services within the Australian economy for the financial year 2009-10. Monetary supply and use tables illustrate the economic transactions associated with the income generated by the supply of waste management services and sales of recovered waste material and expenditure on the use of waste management services and purchase of recovered waste material.

Figure 3. Waste Management Services ($m)
Diagram: Figure 3. Waste Management Services ($m)



Coverage

39 Coverage for both the monetary supply and use tables includes the following:
  • Income and expenditure ($million) relating to waste management services
      • Non-recyclable
      • Recyclable
  • Income from sales ($million) of recyclable/recoverable material
      • Paper and cardboard
      • Organic material
      • Metals
      • Other
  • Imports and exports ($million) of waste material:
      • Paper and cardboard
      • Organic material
      • Metals
      • Other

40 Coverage for waste management expenditure included:
  • Agriculture (excl Aquaculture, Forestry and Fishing)
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services (private and local government authorities)
  • Construction
  • Wholesale
  • Retail
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • All other service industries

41 Coverage for waste management expenditure for "All other service industries" included:
  • Aquaculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Electricity, Gas and Water Supply services
  • Accommodation and Food services
  • Information, Media and Telecommunications
  • Financial and Insurance Services
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Public Administration and Safety
  • Education and Training
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Arts and Recreation Services
  • Other Services
  • Commonwealth and State Governments

42 Coverage for income from waste management services included:
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services
  • Wholesale
  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • All other service industries

43 Coverage for income from waste management services for "All other service industries" included:
  • Electricity, Gas and Water Supply services.
  • Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry and Fishing*
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services*
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services*
  • Administrative and Support Services*
  • Public Administration and Safety*
  • Education and Training*
  • Health Care and Social Assistance*
  • Arts and Recreation Services*
  • Other Services*
  • Commonwealth and State Governments
  • *Income from these service industries was assumed to be zero.

44 Coverage for income from sales of recyclable/recoverable material included:
  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services
  • Construction
  • All other service industries

45 Coverage for income from sales of recyclable/recoverable material for "All other service industries" included:
  • Electricity, Gas and Water Supply services.
  • Aquaculture, Forestry and Fishing*
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing*
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services*
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services*
  • Administrative and Support Services*
  • Public Administration and Safety*
  • Education and Training*
  • Health Care and Social Assistance*
  • Arts and Recreation Services*
  • Other Services*
  • Commonwealth and State Governments
  • *Income from these service industries was assumed to be zero.


DATA SOURCES

46 The monetary estimates contained in this publication are drawn from ABS and non-ABS data sources, including:

METHODOLOGY

Income

47 Income from waste management services was compiled from Waste Management Services (WMS) 2009-10 (cat. no. 8698.0) for the Waste Management Services industry and the Economic Activity Survey (EAS) 2010-11 for other industries.

48 Income from waste management services (by recyclables/non-recyclables) and sales of recyclable/recovered material for the Waste Management Services industry is derived from Tables 4 and 5 of Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 8698.0). Note that "Private" refers to Private and Public Trading Enterprises, and "Public" refers to the waste management activities of local government.

49 Income data from the ABS Economic Activity Survey, 2010-11 for industries other than Waste Management Services in 2009-10 was estimated using the Industry Sales and Service income movement from Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0).

50 Income from the supply of waste products (recyclable/recoverable material) has been calculated as a trade margin because these products are typically sold after undergoing only relatively minor processing (such as grading, cleaning etc.). Following the principles of the 2008 SNA, trade margins have been calculated as the difference between the price realised on the sale of the good, and the price paid for the good. However, data sources used within this publication indicate that prices paid to acquire the recyclable/recoverable material are negligible and therefore the trade margin is effectively equal to the price realised on the sale of these goods. For further information on Supply and Use tables and the concept of margins, see Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Edition 3 (cat no. 5126.0).


Expenditure

51 Intermediate consumption of waste management services (by recyclables/non-recyclables) by the Waste Management Services industry were sourced from Tables 8 and 9 of Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 8698.0)."Private" refers to Private and Public Trading Enterprises, and "Public" refers to local government.

52 In-scope expenditure items included:
  • contract and subcontract expenses for waste management services for recyclables and non-recyclables;
  • fees for the treatment/processing/disposal of waste, and
  • waste disposal levies/contributions paid to the EPA.

53 Intermediate consumption of waste management services (by recyclables/non-recyclables) for Other industries were estimated based on payments to contractors and subcontractors for waste management services derived from the ABS Economic Activity Survey, 2010-11.

54 Expenditure on the use of waste management services for industries other than waste management services in 2009-10 were estimated from ABS Economic Activity Survey, 2010-11 estimates and backcast using the Industry Gross Value Added movement from the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0).

55 No data was available for expenditure on recyclable/recovered materials. This data was marked as "n.a." in WAAEE monetary table 2.

56 Household final consumption (expenditure on waste services) was derived from annual financial reports of Local Government Authorities (LGA's). LGA's are responsible for the provision of waste services for households and household waste services charges are included in annual rates charges.


WASTE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS

International Trade Classifications

57 Australia applies the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) for the classification of internationally traded goods. The HS is a 6-digit hierarchical classification designed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

58 Information provided by importers, exporters and their agents to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service was used in the WAAEE as a source of information for import and export data in the physical and monetary supply and use tables. Australia expands the HS to produce two different classifications for imports and exports. These classifications are the Harmonized Tariff Item Statistical Code (HTISC),also known as the Customs Tariff and the Australian Harmonised Export Commodity (AHECC) (cat. no. 1233.0).


Exports

59 The following information can be obtained or derived from export documentation for all goods exporters:
  • Value of commodity
  • State of origin of the commodity
  • Period of time the commodity was exported
  • Industry of origin of the commodity
  • Gross weight of commodity
  • Destination of commodity
  • AHECC code of commodity exported


Imports

60 The following information can be obtained or derived from import documentation for all goods importers:
  • Value of commodity
  • Gross weight of commodity
  • Period of time the commodity was imported
  • Country of origin of commodity
  • State of final destination of commodity
  • HTISC code for the commodity imported


Waste product classification for imports and exports

61 In the WAAEE, imports and exports of waste products are components of the physical supply and use tables.

62 Imports and exports classified as being waste were identified by using AHECC, HTISC and the Central Product Classification (CPC) Version 2 in order to calculate amounts of wastes (by weight and dollars) entering and exiting Australia. This data is available from ABS International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no 5368.0).


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.