Landfill in Australia: Facts and Statistics

Australia has been one of the highest waste generators in the world. In fact, it produced 75.8 million tonnes in 2018-2019, which is a 10% increase from the last two years. Since China banned rubbish importation, authorities have been strengthening waste management and recovery plans. 

Our nation depends on landfilling the most. Meaning, non-recyclable rubbish ends up in a sanitary landfill area for years to decay. While other waste treatments such as incineration and anaerobic digestion are good alternatives, they are expensive and difficult to maintain. Thus, landfilling is our best choice. 

However, it does not mean that we should abuse the use of landfill areas. Note that they also contribute to global warming as wastes tend to release methane during their decaying process. It is a harmful chemical, which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

Why do we need to save our landfills, you ask? Aussie Junkwill answer them with some landfill facts and statistics here in Australia.   

Landfilling Rate

In 2018-2019, 27% of Australia’s total waste generation were sent to landfills, which is about 20.5 million tonnes. As a whole, it was a good turnout. However, in New South Wales – the country’s most populous state – households sent about 53% of their wastes straight to the landfills

With those statistics, we see that some people are not doing their part in saving landfill spaces.  Authorities urge the public to recycle and avoid generating too much waste, especially in NSW. A busy state or city should not be a reason for waste negligence. Based on NSW’s WARR Strategy, we should achieve 25% landfilling rate or better.  

Statistics of Waste Materials

Landfill comprises different waste materials. Non-recyclable items of food waste, plastics, construction debris, and metals end up in dumpsites. We should avoid throwing out bulky objects and rubbish that decomposes for a long time to minimise taking up so much space. 

Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics, here is our performance regarding landfill waste disposal in 2018-2019:


Out of the 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in 2018-2019, we sent 84% of them to landfills. Households and the manufacturing industry are the leading contributors with 1.2 million tonnes and 380,000 tonnes generation, respectively.  

Plastics, especially PET bottles, are recyclable. However, most people throw them away after one use. As per plastic bags, you can reuse them until they wear out. Note that plastics have become one of the culprits in destroying marine life. Plastics littered in the ocean kill more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year.  

If you cannot manage plastic waste, it is better to avoid using them. Maximise the use of metal straws, eco-bags, tumblers, and other environment-friendly products that reduce plastic rubbish generation. 

Food Waste

We waste about 7.3 million tonnes of food, equivalent to $20 billion yearly. As they end up in landfills, they account for more than 5% of Australia’s greenhouse gases emission. 

By avoiding producing leftovers, we can help reduce our food rubbish production. Furthermore, responsible food waste disposal can minimise the effects of climate change

Construction and Demolition Debris

The construction industry was the second highest generator of wastes with 12.7 million tonnes of debris in 2018-2019. Construction materials such as concrete, rubble, and metals have high recyclability. Thankfully, we could recycle 86% of the masonry materials and 76% of the metals. 

However, recycling would not be effective if construction and demolition debris increased every year.

As a consumer, what can we do? We can maximise on eco-friendly yet long-lasting construction materials. Quality over quantity and price, as others say. In this way, you can also avoid conducting demolition or construction in your premises frequently. 


Landfilling has been the key option of the councils for waste disposal. But, it poses a risk as decaying wastes emit methane in the atmosphere. Thus, together with the authorities, we should practice proper waste management and prioritise recycling and rubbish avoidance. 

Based on Australia’s presented landfill facts and statistics, we should exert more effort to achieve higher recycling and lower landfilling rates. So, think first before you throw away that rubbish. 

Here at Aussie Junk, we are your trusted partner for eco-friendly rubbish disposal. We have a team of professional removalists prioritising recycling and diverting waste from landfills. We have a vast connection of recycling centre partners that can accommodate recyclables and turn them into something valuable.

For more than 20 years, we have serviced residential and commercial establishments with affordable rubbish removal. No matter where you are in Sydney, we have the most efficient and complete rubbish removal services tailored to your needs. 

We are available 24/7! Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff at ‪0435 569 921‬ or send us your enquiries via email

Picture of Aussie Junk

Aussie Junk

Aussie Junk is a proud local Sydney rubbish removal company. We help educate Aussies on the importance of environmental topics such as recycling, hygiene, personal and social well-being and sustainability. Free up more valuable space in your life by calling our local team to help clear and clean out your junk today.

[wpforms id="37"]