1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Total waste generated(a)
Graph Image for Total waste generated(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Year ending 30 June.

Source(s): Hyder Consulting, Waste and Recycling in Australia, 2009, ; The Senate, Management of Australia's Waste Streams, 2008


The total volume of waste generated is one measure of the overall impact of human activity on the environment.

Growth in the amount of waste generated in Australia has been driven by a number of economic and demographic factors. One of the consequences of Australia's fast-growing, materially intensive economy is the production of large quantities of waste.

Over the past decade, the total volume of waste generated in Australia has nearly doubled from 22.7 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 43.8 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The total volume of waste generated in Australia each year has been growing faster than annual GDP growth. However, increases in the volume of waste generated are also due to improved reporting of waste and improved recycling data.

Less than a third (29%) of the waste generated in Australia in 2006–07 originated from household and other municipal sources. Waste from the commercial and industrial sector (33%) and from the construction and demolition sector (38%) accounted for the rest.

Population size is a strong determinant of the volume of waste produced in Australia. In 2006-07, the states with the largest populations contributed most of the country’s waste: New South Wales (35%), Victoria (23%), and Queensland (18%).


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