The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a new experimental account on waste, as part of its work establishing environmental-economic accounts.
According to an ABS statement, environmental-economic accounts bring information about the environment and its relationship with the economy together.
“The experimental waste account provides information on who generates waste and how it is managed,” the statement reads.
“Information on the financial aspects of the waste industry are presented alongside information about the physical amount and types of waste, to provide a broader picture of waste in Australia.”
The account is the first to be released under the common national approach to environmental-economic accounting in Australia.
The ABS last produced a waste account in 2014.
“The latest experimental account utilises a more detailed dataset, providing more waste types and industry level information than was previously released,” the statement reads.
According to ABS Centre for Environmental and Satellite Accounts Director Jonathon Khoo, the Australian economy generated 68.9 megatonnes of waste in 2016-17, 27.6 per cent of which was sent to landfill.
“As Australia uses more of its waste in the production of other goods, the Waste Account, Australia, Experimental Estimates publication provides an information framework to help identify opportunities for utilising discarded materials,” Mr Khoo said.
Of the industries highlighted in the account, those with the highest waste intensity — waste generated divided by gross value added — were, electricity, gas, water and waste services at 291 tonnes per million, construction at 151.8 tonnes per million and manufacturing at 105.6 tonnes per million.