4602.0.55.002 - Environmental Issues: Waste Management and Transport Use, Mar 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2009  First Issue
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Waste Management and Transport Use Survey that was conducted thoughout Australia in March 2009 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). It is a continuation of a series of surveys on this topic conducted since March 1996 for waste and April 1996 for transport. The previous survey was conducted in March 2006. The main aim of the survey was to collect data on how households manage their waste and how Australians usually travel to work, place of study and other places. Information was also collected on household motor vehicle and bicycle ownership.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The scope of this supplementary survey was restricted to persons aged 18 years and over who were usual residents of private dwellings and excluded the following persons:

  • members of the Australian permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependents)

4 This supplementary survey also excluded people living in special dwellings (such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons).

5 This supplementary survey was conducted in both rural and urban areas in all states and territories of Australia, but excluded people living in very remote parts of Australia. The exclusion of these people will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory where such persons account for about 19% of the population.


6 The estimates in this publication relate to households covered by the survey in March 2009. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.

7 The response rate for the survey was 97%. In total, information was collected from 9,422 persons aged 18 years and over, and 9,362 households.


8 Information was collected through interviews conducted over a two-week period during March 2009. Information was collected from any responsible adult in the household aged 18 years and over who was asked to respond on behalf of the household for the waste management and motor vehicle ownership topics and for a randomly selected person in the household for the transport use topic.

9 Data was collected on the randomly selected person's use of transport on their usual trip to work, full-time study or day-to-day travel. Data on motor vehicle usage relates to details on the number of registered motor vehicles kept at the home and the vehicle driven most often, and includes details on use and ownership in the last 12 months. Information was also collected on bicycle ownership. Data on waste management relates to the recycling and re-using of household waste in the last 12 months.


10 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.

11 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For further information refer to the Technical Note.

12 Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether in a full count or a sample survey. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and efficient data processing procedures.


13 A set of changing environment supplementary survey topics rotate over a period of three years. Previously these have been released in the same publication Environmental issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0).

14 From 2008 the three separate topics under Environmental issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0) are now three separate publications with different catalogue numbers. The 2009 publication is now titled Environmental Issues: Waste Management and Transport Use (cat.no. 4602.0.55.002). The information contained in this publication compare with most of the data collected in 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2006. Where applicable, the data have been included in this publication for comparison.


15 While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey; sound survey practise requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. A few minor changes were made to the survey between 2006 and 2009. These changes are outlined below.
  • Waste items recycled and/or reused
      Old clothing or rags - not collected in 2009
      Electronic equipment - new in 2009
      Motor oil - asked separately in 2009
  • Reasons why households do not recycle waste
      Cost of disposal - new in 2009
  • Hazardous waste items disposed
      Mobile phones - not collected in 2009
      Motor oil - asked separately and revised in 2009
      Household appliances - new in 2009
      White goods - new in 2009
      LPG gas bottles - new in 2009
  • Motor vehicles
      Air conditioning in motor vehicles - not collected in 2009
      Type of registered motor vehicle kept at home - new in 2009
      Type of motor vehicle driven most often - new in 2009
      Type of fuel used in main motor vehicle - revised in 2009
      Changes in number of registered vehicles kept at home in last 12 months - revised in 2009
  • Bicycles
      Number of bicycles kept at home - new in 2009
      Status of bicycle ownership - new in 2009
      Number of bicycles suitable for an adult to ride - new in 2009
      Number of children's bicycles - new in 2009
  • Transport
      Main form of transport to work/full-time study - revised in 2009
      Other form of transport used in conjunction with main to get to work/full-time study - new in 2009
      Sometimes used form of transport to get to work/full-time study - new in 2009
      Reason for not walking or cycling to work/full-time study asked separately - revised in 2009
      Additional separate question about walking for day-to-day travel - new in 2009


16 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


17 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in March 2012.


18 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS publications:


19 Further key references on waste management and transport use can be found through the following web sites:
  • Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (http://www.environment.gov.au)
  • Department of Climate Change (http://www.climatechange.gov.au)
  • Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.


20 In addition to the statistics provided in this publication, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, tabulations can be produced from the survey. All inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.