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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
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INTRODUCTION AND KEY INDICATORS



This publication is the first Australian waste account produced using an environmental economic accounting framework. The Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates (WAAEE) 2013 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.005) presents integrated monetary and physical waste information using an internationally recognised conceptual framework to assist in informing waste policy and discussion in Australia.

Waste management is a complex issue and consequently poses a number of measurement challenges. The production and use of materials, goods and services have a range of environmental and economic consequences. Effective waste management is much broader than the provision of waste services, typically involving the recovery of materials, recycling, and disposal to landfill, provided primarily by the Waste Management Services Industry.

Government, businesses and households are all involved in waste generation and waste management either by: actively reducing, reusing, recovering, recycling materials; paying others to recover or to dispose of unwanted materials; or utilising recycled waste products. Government policies, pricing mechanisms, types and location of waste facilities are just some of the broader issues that make the management of waste a complex task.

Waste management is largely the responsibility of state/territory and local governments, with information often based on different classifications, policies and regulations across Australia. As a result it is difficult to analyse and compare data between jurisdictions with the result that the relationship between the environment and economy is not fully understood.

Figure 1 illustrates the economic processes of waste generation, management and use within the economy. Waste accounts highlight and measure the inputs, generation and management (use) of waste by industries as it flows either directly to the environment, be taken for treatment, stored or used within the economy. This, in turn, will assist in analysing the effectiveness and impact of policy, and potentially show where policy can be improved to reduce waste generation and minimise waste to landfill.

Figure 1. Waste generation and flow through the economy.
Diagram: Figure 1. Waste generation and flow through the economy.



Why a Waste Account and What is it?

There is a close connection between the environment and the economy. The economy depends on the environment as a source for its raw materials and also as a sink for its waste and emissions to air and water. Pollution of the environment leads to environmental problems such as climate change, air and water degradation, which affects society’s sustainability. The United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework integrates information on the environment and economy and provides a conceptual basis for providing statistical information for waste policy.

Using the SEEA framework, the WAAEE presents a series of tables showing information on the generation of waste, the destination of waste to landfills or to recycling facilities, and the supply of recycled materials to the economy, including the related financial flows of these waste transactions.

The WAAEE includes tables on:
  • Waste generated by industry, government and households, by waste material, 2009-10, '000 tonnes (physical supply);
  • Waste management, treatment and disposal, by waste material, services provided by industry 2009-10 and waste product and residual, '000 tonnes (physical use);
  • Supply of Waste Goods and Services by Industry 2009-10, $m (purchasers' prices) (monetary use); and
  • Use of Waste Goods and Services by Industry 2009-10, $m (purchasers' prices) (monetary use).

The figures in these tables are experimental and intended to demonstrate the presentation and potential value of waste information in an integrative framework. They differ in scope and concept to data published in the three yearly National Waste Report produced by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) and are not proposed to replace other official sources of waste generation, recovery or disposal statistics.

The primary purpose of presenting information in this framework is to highlight the importance of the integration of both bio-physical information, which measures the state of the environment, with socio-economic information that reports on economic and social drivers, pressures, impacts and responses. For example, the WAAEE integrates physical waste data to the Australian National Accounts, as well as providing information on other environmental issues (e.g. water and energy use by industry and households).

The WAAEE will also identify data gaps and deficiencies and provide a framework to help underpin integrated waste data by using consistent concepts, terminology and classifications.

This publication also highlights some key waste issues including e-waste, hazardous waste and international trade in waste in the associated feature articles.


Practical applications of an integrated Waste Account

The integration of environmental and socio-economic information and the use of common frameworks, classifications and standards can assist policy-makers by:
  • enabling analysis of the impact of economic policies on the environment and vice versa;
  • providing a quantitative basis for policy design;
  • identifying the socio-economic drivers, pressures, impacts and responses that affect the environment;
  • supporting greater precision in the development of environmental regulations and resource management strategies;
  • providing indicators that express the relationships between the environment and economy; and
  • organising information within a conceptual framework that ensures consistency, completeness and accountability over time.

In particular, a waste account can provide consistent economic and physical data on:
  • the waste 'market' and, in particular, which sectors (i.e. private or government) and industries are providing these services;
  • what services are being provided and the value of these services;
  • which industries have the greatest demand for waste services; and
  • whether waste recovery is becoming more profitable.

Table 1:Key Facts Waste Management Services, Australian Industry 2009-10

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006
Waste Management Services Industry(a)
Agriculture
Mining(b)
Manufacturing
Construction
Services(c)
Households
Total(d)

Waste generated
('000t)
14
1 920
267
8 465
16 541
13 554
12 425
53 186
% waste generated
0
4
1
16
31
25
23
100
Expenditure on
waste services ($m)
2 903
56
52
714
1 642
2 603
1 623
9 593
% total expenditure
on waste services
30
1
1
7
17
27
17
100
% on recyclable
services
19
61
52
36
48
28
na
. .
Income from waste
services ($m)
7 661
na
127
170
748
815
. .
9 521
Income from recyclable
services ($m)
1 238
na
68
113
139
425
. .
1 983
% total income from
waste services
80
na
1
2
8
9
. .
100
% income from
recyclable services
16
na
53
66
19
52
. .
21
Income from waste
products ($m)
2 275
34
225
723
114
1 145
na
4 516
% total income from
waste products
50
1
5
16
3
25
na
100
GVA ($ millions)
3 327
28 416
95 185
107 782
96 694
870 576
. .
1 201 980
% GVA
0
2
8
9
8
73
. .
100
GVA($m)/'000t
238
15
356
13
6
64
. .
. .
'000 tonnes
generated/GVA($m)
0
0
0
0
0
0
. .
. .
Waste expenditure
($m)/'000t generated
207
0
0
0
0
0
. .
. .
Waste expenditure/GVA
($m) - %
1
0
0
1
2
0
. .
. .
Employment (as at
May 2010) ('000)
33
376
184
990
1 012
8 512
. .
11 107
No. households
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
8 394 980
8 394 980
Waste generated/
household (tonnes)
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
2
2
Expenditure waste
services/household ($)
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
196
196

. . not applicable
na not available
(a) Includes Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services (ANZSIC Division D, subdivision 29)
(b) Excludes mineral waste
(c) Includes all industries other than agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction
(d) Total waste generated excludes imports
Source: Australian System of National Accounts, 2011-12 (cat no.5204.0), Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2012 (cat no. 6291.0.55.003), Australian Industry, 2010-11 (cat no. 8155.0), Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009-10 (cat no. 8698.0), Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3236.0)
Note: Numbers subject to rounding



Key Indicators, 2009-10

Table 1 is a compilation of WAAEE supply and use tables and other ABS sources to provide key indicators for the waste management services industry.

Of the estimated 53.2 million tonnes of waste generated by business, government and households in 2009-10, 31% is attributed to construction, 25% to service industries, and 23% to households.

Expenditure on waste management services (eg payments to contractors and subcontractors, fees for waste management etc) totalled $9,593m. Thirty per cent of this expenditure was by the waste management industry (including local government). Construction, households and the service industries consumed the bulk of the rest of these services.

The majority of income from waste management services (80%) was provided by the waste management industry (including local government). Sixteen per cent of this income was for the provision of recyclable waste management services.

Income from waste products (raw waste materials with a positive value) totalled $4,516m. Half of this amount was from the sales of raw materials resulting from materials recovery or reprocessing by the waste management industry. One quarter of the total income from waste products was for the services industries, and a further 16% by the manufacturing industry.

Gross value added ($m GVA) per '000 tonnes waste generated varied greatly between industries, from $6m GVA per '000 tonnes of waste generated by the construction industry, up to $356m, GVA per '000 tonnes waste generated by the mining industry (excluding mineral waste).

In 2009-10, the average household generated 1.5 tonnes of waste and spent, on average, $196 on waste management services.

Please see explanatory notes for information on the scope, methods and data sources used to compile the WAAEE.


International Waste Accounts

There are other countries currently producing physical waste accounts. Statistics Netherlands first presented an illustrative NAMEA (National Accounting Matrix including Environmental Accounts) in 1991. In the Dutch waste accounts the amount of landfilled waste has been considered an important environmental pressure indicator by government.

Statistics Norway first produced a Waste Account in 1995 and this is now an annual publication. They collect data for household waste, waste from manufacturing industries, hazardous waste statistics, construction and demolition waste, service industries and survey landfills, incineration and composting. The waste account data are used by Eurostat, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and industrial and non-government organisations, education and research institutes.

Figure 2,
Graph Image for Norway, Waste Generated by Industry, 1995-2010

Figure 2 shows total waste generated by industry sector from 1995 to 2010 for Norway. In 2010 Manufacturing comprised 28% of the total waste amount with Households contributing 23%.

Figure 3,

Graph Image for Norway, waste sent to landfill 1995 to 2010

Figure 3 shows waste material types sent to landfill from 1995 to 2010 for Norway. Measures to control land waste have seen organic, paper, plastic, concrete and metal wastes dropping by as much as 30% in three years from 2007 to 2010.


Further information on Environmental Accounting

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's will be determined in consultation with stakeholders and the availability of data and other resources.

For further information on environmental-economic accounting please refer to the ABS publication - Completing the Picture - Environmental Accounting in Practice (cat. no. 4628.0.55.001) or the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting United Nations Statistics Division ‘System of Environmental-Economic Accounting’, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/envaccounting/seea.asp.

Other ABS publications utilising the SEEA framework include:

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