Waste and Recycling in Australia - Amended report, 19 November 2009

Hyder Consulting, 2009

Hyder Consulting, Amended report, 19 November 2009
A report prepared for the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

About the report

This report has been compiled by Hyder Consulting to provide baseline data on waste generation, resource recovery and landfill disposal, and updates the report Waste and Recycling in Australia, produced by Hyder Consulting in 2008.

The Hyder 2009 Report provides updated data for 2006-07, additional data for NSW and Qld and new data for Tas, WA (non­metropolitan regions) and the NT. Data on paper recycling has been updated and additional data included for organic waste. The report also includes analyses of state and territory waste management strategies, environmental impacts of waste disposal and the barriers to growth of resource recovery in Australia including the provision of appropriate infrastructure.

Key findings from the Hyder 2009 report are:

  • Overall, waste generation increased by about 31 per cent between 2003 and 2007 - despite a significant increase in recycling to 52 per cent.
  • The amount of waste disposed to landfill has grown by 21 per cent in four years.
  • Waste generation in Australia continues to rise, largely due to factors such as increased household incomes; fewer people per household (and therefore a larger number of households); busy lifestyles and reliance on pre-packaged foods).
  • Household waste (which includes organics) and e-waste are significant components of the waste sent to landfill
  • The level of organics in the waste stream is significant because this type of waste generates methane emissions in landfills.

The Hyder 2009 Report forms part of a suite of research reports used to inform the National Waste Policy – Less waste, more resources. The baseline data in the report is included the National Waste Overview, released by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council in November 2009, and will be used in the National Waste Report planned for release in early 2010.

Note about data:
Data presented in the Hyder 2009 Report includes jurisdictional data that may be collected using different definitions, classifications and methodologies and may measure different materials. Comparison of jurisdictional data presented in the report may therefore be inappropriate.