4602.0.55.005 - Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/09/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

In this issue


The Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates, 2016-17 is the result of a collaboration between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE). This account is the first to be released under the Common national approach to environmental-economic accounting in Australia.

The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) was the agreed framework to be used in the national approach. Solid waste accounts are part of the SEEA and, where possible, the published tables align with this framework. The core waste account tables provide information on the generation (supply) and management (use) of waste in the economy by businesses and households in physical terms. This allows for analysis of issues related to waste, such as waste imports and exports, recycling and the circular economy. The ABS last produced a Waste Account in 2014. These new experimental estimates use a different scope and data sources to meet current needs and comparison is not advised.

The DoEE releases the National Waste Report every two years that provide a range of data on the topic of waste. These experimental waste accounts align with the National Waste Report, and utilise this report as a key data source, along with data from the ABS' National Accounts.

Physical data is modelled to include further details of industry and waste type. Further details of methodology and data sources used can be found in the Explanatory Notes of this publication.

This publication

This joint publication presents a waste account and associated statistics at the national level, for the reference year 2016-17, including:

  • Physical data on the Supply of waste across the economy
  • Physical data on the Use of waste across the economy, with a focus on waste fate under the Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services industry
  • Monetary data on expenditure and income for waste services across industry sectors
  • Physical data on the supply and use of E-waste, by waste type
  • Physical data on waste exports and imports
  • Key indicators about the Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services industry.

Detailed information can be found via the Downloads tab above.

Further synthesis on the waste account and the national waste policy is available on the DoEE’s environmental-economic accounting website: A common national approach to environmental-economic accounting.

Policy context

Australia is moving towards a circular economy rather than the traditional linear ‘take, make, use and dispose’ approach, with businesses and governments recognising the opportunities waste materials provide and the economic value they retain. This is a development occurring across the globe, including in the European Union, Canada, and Australia’s major trading partners, including China.

Critical for this transition is the development of our domestic waste and recycled material markets. The Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates, 2016-17 provides important information for market development. Presenting physical waste data paired with monetary data, from a whole-of-economy perspective, improves the information base available for policy and industry investment decisions.


The ABS seeks feedback on this paper from interested stakeholders on technical and conceptual issues and identification of further appropriate data sources of the accounts. For submissions and feedback please email environment@abs.gov.au.

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to the ABS.

Ongoing engagement with various government and industry stakeholders will inform the refinement of future waste accounts in line with user needs.