Resource use and waste generation


Theme: Sustainable
Dimension: Protect, repair and manage the environment


  • Waste generation per person
  • Proportion of waste recovered for reuse, recycling or energy

Why does this matter

Australians are aware of the impact of using resources and are strongly invested in participating in a more sustainable economy where materials are recycled, reused and repaired.

Has there been progress

There have been positive improvements in waste generation and recovery. Since 2006‑07, waste generation on a per capita basis declined from 3.05 tonnes to 2.95 tonnes in 2020‑21. Over the same time period, waste recovered for recycling, reuse and energy generation has increased markedly, from 50 per cent to 63 per cent. This equates to 45.4 million tonnes of materials recovered from 75.8 million tonnes of total waste generated.1

Other, upstream aspects of a sustainable economy, including resource use, require further focus.

1 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (2022) National Waste Report 2022, DCCEEW website.

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