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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November 20, 2009
Embargo: 11.30 am (AEDT) 20/11/2009

Australian households embrace recycling - e-waste an exception: ABS

Almost every Australian household (99%) participated in some form of recycling or reusing of waste, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

However, nearly a quarter (23%) of electronic equipment and more than half (51%) of household appliances disposed of in the 12 months prior to March 2009 were placed with the non-recycled garbage for kerbside collection.

Paper/cardboard/newspapers were recycled or reused the most (95% of households), followed by plastic bottles (94%), glass (93%) and plastic bags (90%).

Just over half (51%) of Australian households recycled or reused kitchen or food waste.

Australians increased their use of public transport to get to work or full-time study over the past decade, rising from 12% in 2000 to 14% in 2009. However, the overwhelming majority of Australians still travelled by car -- 80% in March 2009 compared to 82% in 2000.

New South Wales and Victoria had the highest level of public transport use at 17%. This is a 4 percentage point increase for Victoria (up from 13% in 2000), but a 1 percentage point drop (from 18%) in New South Wales.

The main reasons reported for not using public transport were 'no service available at the right/convenient time' (27%), 'no service available at all' (26%) and 'convenience/comfort/privacy in private vehicle' (22%).

Half of Australian households had at least one working bicycle kept at their home. Bicycle ownership was highest in the Australian Capital Territory (66% of households) and lowest in New South Wales (46%).

About 6% of people usually walked or cycled to work in 2009, steady since 2000.

Further information can be found in Environmental Issues: Waste Management and Transport Use (cat. no. 4602.0.55.002).

Media note
When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.