Waste management is the $10bn business

Transport aspect crucial as little industrial, commercial or household can be moved without trucks

Waste management is the $10bn business
Waste transport sector spends $302 million annually


The latest measure of one of the biggest customers of vocational vehicles, the waste management industry, has been released.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures are for 2010-11 and put the value of the industry at $10.4 billion.

While details were scarce, the report notes that the transport sector made $330 million through the industry while spending $302 million to make it happen.

By far the biggest amount of waste material was masonry, followed by organics, metals and paper and cardboard, with the latter two also the most exported.

During 2010-11, the Australian economy generated 53 million tonnes of waste, including imports. This was a slight decrease on 2009-10 (53.8 million tonnes).

Of the total waste generated, 30.8 million tonnes (58 per cent) was recovered, with 22.2 million tonnes (42 per cent) disposed to landfill.

The construction industry and the household sector each generated over 14 million tonnes of waste, representing over half (54 per cent) of the total waste generated.

The bulk of waste generated by the construction industry was masonry, which accounted for 16.3 million tonnes (31 per cent) of total waste generated in 2010-11, down from 19.8 million tonnes, or 37 per cent of the total waste generated in 2009-10.

The construction industry produced 10.9 million tonnes (67 per cent) of all masonry waste in 2010-11, a 2.8 million tonnes (or 21 per cent) decrease from 2009-10.

In 2010-11, households produced 14.3 million tonnes of waste (or 27 per cent of total waste generation), an increase from 12.5 million tonnes (or 23 per cent of total waste generation) in 2009-10.

Organic waste was the second largest type of waste type generated in 2010-11 after masonry waste, at 13.7 million tonnes or 26 per cent of total waste generation. Households generated the most organic waste, 6.7 million tonnes or 49 per cent of total organic waste.

Most other waste products showed increases from 2009-10 to 2010-11. Exceptions were paper and cardboard (a 22 per cent decrease on 2009-10, with the bulk of this occurring in the Household sector), and solid hazardous waste (a 10 per cent decrease between 2009-10 and 2010-11).

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