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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Environment

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Australia's growing economy and its increasing use of energy and other resources have brought prosperity and wellbeing to many Australians. However, a growing economy and a growing population also mean more waste generation. Australia has one of the highest rates of waste generation per capita in the world. Wastes may be solid, liquid or gaseous. They can be hazardous, or non-hazardous. They may be classified according to their source (municipal, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition) or by composition (organic, paper, glass, metal and plastic).

This section presents information on waste management activities and waste quantities received, processed and transferred from waste facilities.

Table 2.13 presents estimates of the financial performance of businesses in waste management services in Australia in 2009–10. Data refer to businesses in scope for Waste collection, treatment and disposal services and do not include waste activities undertaken by businesses whose primary activity is outside this scope (e.g. those in the Manufacturing and Mining industries).

At the end of June 2010, there were 2,719 businesses/organisations involved in the provision of waste management services. They comprised 2,172 businesses in the private and public trading sector classified to the Waste collection, treatment and disposal services industry and 547 General government sector organisations.

In 2009–10, waste management businesses in the private and public trading sector had a total income of $8.6 billion. The main source of income was from the provision of waste services ($5.1b), consisting of $4.3 billion for non-recyclable waste and $0.8 billion for recyclables. Sales of recyclable material contributed another $2.2 billion or 26% of total income.

In the private and public trading sector, 709 waste management services businesses had activity located in New South Wales in June 2010, representing 33% of the total waste management services businesses in Australia, while 592 (28%) had activity located in Victoria. The businesses in these two states contributed 59% of total private and public trading sector employment, 63% of total income and 63% of total expenses in 2009–10.


2.13 SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS(a), Private and public trading sector—2009–10

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania/NT/ACT
Australia

Businesses at end June
no.
709
592
409
182
208
72
2 172
Employment at end June
no.
8 730
6 945
5 114
1 917
3 269
836
26 812
Income
Income from waste services (includes recyclables)
$m
1 953.4
1 206.4
922.2
362.3
594.3
110.5
5 149.1
Income from sales of recyclable or recoverable material
$m
693.2
699.3
401.8
212.2
202.0
22.9
2 231.4
Other sources of income and income from energy generated from waste
$m
526.4
312.6
171.9
51.2
134.0
19.3
1 215.5
Total income
$m
3 173.0
2 218.3
1 495.9
625.7
930.3
152.7
8 596.0
Expenses
Wages and salaries
$m
527.9
386.3
314.6
100.8
197.0
40.3
1 566.9
Contract and subcontract expenses for waste management services
$m
190.4
175.2
88.1
46.7
46.2
11.0
557.7
Fees for the treatment/processing and/or disposal of waste
$m
245.8
141.8
134.8
34.5
71.9
6.7
635.4
Other expenses
$m
2 010.1
1 362.0
850.9
400.5
519.1
86.2
5 228.7
Total expenses
$m
2 974.2
2 065.3
1 388.4
582.4
834.1
144.2
7 988.7

(a) Waste collection, treatment and disposal services industry, Subdivision 29, Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 edition.

Source:
Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009–10 (8698.0).


There were an estimated 918 landfills operated by the Waste management services businesses and organisations (including general government) in 2009–10. Australia has a strong dependence on landfill for waste management. The majority of waste that is not recycled or re-used in Australia is disposed of in the nation's landfills.

During 2009–10, there were 21.6 million tonnes of waste received at landfills, with 7.4 million tonnes (34%) coming from the domestic and municipal waste stream, 6.7 million tonnes (31%) from the commercial and industrial waste stream and 5.6 million tonnes (26%) from the construction and demolition waste stream (table 2.14).


2.14 WASTE STREAMS OF MATERIAL RECEIVED AT LANDFILLS(a), By source—2009–10

Organic(b)
Non-organic
Unseparated organic and non-organic
No source type provided
Total
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

Domestic and municipal waste
891.2
1 163.5
4 511.3
840.2
7 406.2
Commercial and industrial waste
478.1
^1 247.4
4 434.6
503.8
6 663.9
Construction and demolition waste
^132.2
3 994.6
1 212.4
^237.9
5 577.2
Other waste
*200.8
128.3
416.5
*76.8
822.4
No waste stream provided
na
na
na
1 156.3
1 156.3
Total
1 702.3
6 533.9
10 574.8
2 815.1
21 626.1

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
na not available
(a) Includes the private and public trading sector and general government sector. Excludes some landfills operated by businesses not coded to ANZSIC 29.
(b) Includes paper and timber.

Source:
Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009–10 (8698.0).


Of the material received at facilities other than landfills, 10.4 million tonnes (59%) were recovered or reprocessed, 4 million tonnes (23%) were disposed to landfill or other final destination, and 3.2 million tonnes (18%) were transferred to other businesses/organisations for recovery or reprocessing. Some of this waste may be transferred out of the waste services industry and reprocessed by another industry.

A total of 13.2 million tonnes of material were recovered or reprocessed from landfills and other waste facilities. This material was diverted from being disposed at landfills, resulting in a diversion rate of 43%. South Australia had the highest waste diversion rate of 66% (table 2.15).


2.15 QUANTITIES OF MATERIAL DISPOSED OR DIVERTED FROM LANDFILL(a)—2009–10

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania/NT/ACT
Australia

Disposed at landfills
'000 t
6 255.4
2 623.3
5 040.9
^785.0
^2 279.2
746.3
17 730.1
Recovered or reprocessed (all facilities)
'000 t
4 913.0
2 454.2
2 758.1
1 544.2
893.7
586.7
13 150.0
Total(b)
'000 t
11 168.4
5 077.5
7 799.0
2 329.2
3 172.9
1 333.0
30 880.0
Diversion rate
%
44.0
48.3
35.4
66.3
28.2
44.0
42.6

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
(a) Includes the public and private trading sector and general government sector. Data are collected from organisations classified to ANZSIC Subdivision 29, Waste collection, treatment and disposal services.
(b) Excludes waste disposed at destinations other than landfills (e.g. incineration, indefinite storage, etc).

Source: Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009–10 (8698.0).

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.

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