State and territory data

NATIONAL WASTE REPORTING 2013
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This section provides an overview of state and territory waste generation and resource recovery data.

More detailed information about each state and territory is available in the fact sheets below.

Fact sheets

Overview 1

Key fact: In 2010-11, Australians on average generated 2.2 tonnes of waste per capita, 60 per cent of which was recycled or recovered for embodied energy.

A range of factors influence waste generation and resource recovery in Australia’s states and territories. These include population, economic activities, average income per capita and levels of urbanisation.

State and territory policy frameworks, waste and resource recovery targets, and available waste management infrastructure also have an effect on waste generation and resource recovery performance. These are discussed in detail for each state and territory in the jurisdictional waste profile factsheets.

Table 1 shows the per capita amount of waste generated, disposed, recycled and recovered for energy (excluding fly ash) for each jurisdiction in 2010-11.

Table 1 Per capita waste data by jurisdiction, 2010-11 (excluding fly ash)*.

 

Tonnes per capita

State/territory

Generation

Disposal

Recycling

Energy recovery

Recovery rate

ACT

2.56

0.54

1.93

0.09

79%

NSW

2.38

0.83

1.49

0.07

65%

NT

1.32

1.20

0.06

0.06

9%

Qld

1.68

0.80

0.80

0.08

52%

SA

2.36

0.54

1.74

0.08

77%

Tas

1.18

0.80

0.31

0.08

33%

Vic

2.18

0.83

1.30

0.05

62%

WA

2.56

1.57

0.92

0.07

39%

*Waste generation and resource recovery in Australia (2013) workbook.

Figure 1 provides a summary of per capita waste generation, management and resource recovery (excluding fly ash) for each state and territory.

The ACT and WA generated the highest waste per capita (2.6 tonnes) while Tasmania generated the lowest waste per capita (1.2 tonnes).

Figure 1 Per capita waste generation by management (excluding fly ash), 2010-11

Figure 1
 

Per capita data is presented in Figure 2 below for each of the three main waste streams (municipal solid waste [MSW], commercial and industrial [C&I] and construction and demolition [C&D]) and by management for each state and territory except the ACT2.

There is wide disparity across the three waste streams in resource recovery rates achieved (see the overview on national waste stream profiles for more information on the MSW, C&I and C&D waste streams). In NSW, SA, Victoria and WA the largest per capita waste tonnages are generated from the C&D stream. This stream also contributes the highest per capita recycling tonnages. For further discussion, please see the factsheets on jurisdictional waste profiles or Waste generation and resource recovery in Australia (2013).

Figure 2 Per capita waste generation by waste stream and management for each state and territory (excluding the ACT), 2010-11

Figure 2
 

Note: there are significant differences between states and territories in terms of definitions, classifications and approaches to waste data. Conclusions should not be drawn about the performance of state and territories over time nor comparisons made between states and territories without a firm understanding of local circumstances. Therefore comparisons between states and territories should be made with caution.

Trends in waste generation and management, 2006–07 to 2011–12 (excluding fly ash)

Table 2 provides data on trends per capita for each state and territory between 2006–07 and  2011–12. These are further illustrated in Figure 3. Some surprising trends are shown, especially for Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. There may be a range of causes for the trends, including variability in rainfall, natural disasters, and potentially, data quality. More detail is provided in the jurisdictional waste profile factsheets.

Table 2 Per capita waste generation by jurisdiction, 2006–07 to 2010–11 (excluding fly ash, tonnes per capita)#

 

Tonnes per capita

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

ACT

2.17

2.14*

2.11

2.06

2.56

NSW

2.24

2.27*

2.31

2.35*

2.38

NT

 

 

 

 

1.32

Qld

 

 

1.87

1.72

1.68

SA

2.03

2.07*

2.10

2.06

2.36

Tas

1.07

1.04*

1.01

1.04

1.18

Vic

2.13

2.03*

1.94

2.14

2.18

WA

2.58

2.55*

2.51

3.07

2.56

# Waste generation and resource recovery in Australia workbook
*Derived by averaging

Figure 3 Trends in per capita waste generation by jurisdiction, 2006–07 to 2011–12 (excluding fly ash)

Figure 3
 

Table 3 below provides a summary of the change in per capita waste generation and resource recovery data by jurisdiction for 2006–07 to 2010–11.

Table 3 Change in per capita waste generation and resource recovery data by jurisdiction, 2006–07 to 2010–11 (excluding fly ash)

Per capita percentage change over 4 years

 

ACT

NSW

Qld

SA

Tas

Vic

WA

Australia

Disposal

16%

-19%

-10%

-16%

-5%

-13%

-12%

-15%

Recycling

21%

28%

-20%

31%

89%

15%

29%

20%

Energy recovery

-23%

31%

0%

26%

5%

9%

-28%

8.3%

Resource recovery rate

0%

20%

-5%

13%

48%

12%

23%

16%

Generation

18%

7%

-14%

16%

10%

2%

-1%

2.6%

Per capita generation rates increased in all jurisdictions except Queensland and Western Australia. Resource recovery rates grew in all jurisdictions except Queensland. Disposal rates fell everywhere except the Australian Capital Territory.

For more information on state and territory waste generation trends see the jurisdictional waste profiles or Waste generation and resource recovery in Australia

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1 The content for this overview is taken from Waste generation and resource recovery in Australia.
2 The ACT does not collect data on the source streams of recycled material so waste stream analysis for the ACT is not included here.