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  • Writer's pictureKelvin Mureithi

10 Common Waste Streams in Australia

Updated: Jan 16

From food scraps to broken electronics, Australians generate a lot of waste. We generated an estimated 75.8 million tonnes of waste, or about 2.95 tonnes per person in 2020/21. So far, we recycle about 60% of this waste.

Here's a glimpse of the 10 most common types.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

Municipal solid waste (MSW) is primarily general waste collected from households and councils, such as through kerbside waste and recycling collections. This includes items such as food scraps, paper, and plastic.

Construction and Demolition Waste

Electronic Waste (E-waste)

Hard or Bulky Waste

Food Waste

Clinical Waste

Glass Waste

Garden Waste

Hazardous Waste

Commercial and Industrial Waste

Impacts of Waste Streams on the Environment

Each of these waste streams has its own unique impact on the environment. For example, food waste that ends up in landfill produces methane – a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. E-waste can contain toxic substances such as lead and mercury that can leach into the soil and waterways.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Many of these waste streams can be recycled or repurposed to reduce their impact on the environment. For example, glass can be recycled indefinitely without losing quality or purity.

Operational Waste Management Plan (WMP)


Operational Waste Management Plan

If your current or future development requires a Waste Management Plan, Makao can help. We have extensive experience in developing effective Waste Management Plans for a range of projects (childcare, medical centres, apartments, retail, and mixed use developments). Contact us today to get started.


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