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Waste minimisation

Each year in Australia, each of us generates an average of two tonnes of industrial, commercial and domestic waste—with most of it ending up in landfill. As well as this type of waste, there is also demolition waste, radioactive waste, sewage sludge, agricultural waste, mining wastewaters and waste of energy and water.

Household bins contain various types of waste, such as plastic, glass, paper, vegetable scraps and food waste. The quantity of each varies depending on factors such as the season and size of the family using the bin.

What is waste minimisation?

Waste minimisation aims to eliminate waste before it is produced and reduce its quantity and toxicity. Prevention is the primary goal, followed by reuse, recycling, treatment and appropriate disposal.

Why minimise waste?

Population increase and high consumption of products in the developed world has created a global waste problem. The more waste we have, the more there is to dispose of safely. Scientists now believe we are producing more waste than the environment can absorb. The benefits of minimising waste include:

  • reducing demand for landfill space
  • saving resources and energy
  • reducing pollution
  • increasing the efficiency of production.

If each person changes the way they think and act, the production of waste can be reduced.

More information

Last reviewed
1 December 2015
Last updated
13 March 2013