4613.0 - Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, 2006
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2006
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Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends presents a range of statistics from both ABS and other sources on trends in environmental issues of concern. Each year, a particular environmental issue is addressed in detail - this year the issue is solid waste.
The publication's feature article on solid waste looks at the emerging issue of e-waste, a popular name for electronic goods nearing the end of their "useful life". E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste types and the problem of e-waste is global. Australians are some of the highest users of new technology in the world. Ecorecycle Victoria figures show that each year, Australians buy more than 2.4 million personal computers (PCs) and more than one million televisions. However, the stockpile of used, obsolete electronic products keeps growing.
It has been estimated that in Australia, in 2006, there will be around 1.6 million computers disposed of in landfill, another 1.8 million in storage (in addition to the 5.3 million already gathering dust in garages and other storage areas) and half a million recycled, according to the "Advancing Australia" report from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.
E-waste in Australia is estimated to be growing at more than three times the rate of general municipal waste (domestic waste from households and other council waste such as park and street litter bins). The total amount of waste Australians generated increased from 22.7 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 32.4 million tonnes in 2002-03, of which just over one-quarter was municipal waste.
Recycling for all types of waste in Australia has grown over the past 20 years, increasing by 825% between 1996-97 and 2002-03. Recycling was most popular in the Australian Capital Territory where rates of total waste generated for recycling were 69% in 2002-03, followed by South Australia (63%) and Victoria (51%).
The feature article also looks at the issues of household hazardous waste, plastic bags, tyres and used oils disposal.
The publication also includes statistics on environmental issues of concern.
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