Australian Bureau of Statistics
4602.0 - Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, Mar 2000
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2000
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More hazardous wastes ending up in household bins
There has been a big increase over the past four years in the number of households disposing of their hazardous waste via their garbage bins, rather than through central collection points, an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey revealed today.
The proportion of households that put waste-such as garden chemicals, paint products, metal and oven cleaners, fluorescent tubes, car and household batteries, motor oil and pharmaceuticals-through usual garbage collection service has jumped dramatically from 62 per cent in 1996 to 85 per cent in 2000.
This is despite the finding that an increasing number of households were aware of the availability of special facilities to deal with hazardous waste. Those households that knew numbered 31 per cent in 1996, rising to 37 per cent in 2000. In addition, over the four years surveyed, more households gave up taking their household hazardous waste to the dump or a central collection point. In 1996, 30 per cent of households did so, but by this year the figure had dwindled to 21 per cent.
The survey, however, also reported that recycling of common household waste has continued to improve: rising from 85 per cent in 1992, to 91 per cent in 1996 and 97 per cent in 2000. Substantial increases have occurred for the usual types of waste recycled; paper (1992, 55 per cent; 1996, 75 per cent; 2000, 85 per cent), old clothing/rags (1992, 63 per cent; 1996, 67 per cent; 2000, 83 per cent), plastic (1992, 37 per cent; 1996, 67 per cent; 2000, 83 per cent for plastic bags and 81 per cent for plastic bottles), glass (1992, 55 per cent; 1996, 73 per cent; 2000, 82 per cent), and cans (1992, 44 per cent; 1996, 62 per cent; 2000, 75 per cent).
Yet, although the percentage of households involved in recycling has increased, the proportion recycling all items surveyed has remained relatively unchanged at around 6 per cent since 1996. Approximately three-quarters of households (73 per cent) said a lack of recyclable materials was the primary reason for not recycling all surveyed items .
The lowest recycling rate for all items surveyed was recorded by one person households (3 per cent). Households with all members over 15 years were three times more likely to recycle all items (9 per cent) than one person households.
State and Territory data
NSW: Highest for having no area to store recycling materials in dwelling/yard (8 per cent) and not aware of hazardous waste disposal facilities (66 per cent).
Victoria: Highest for having old clothing/rags (16 per cent) collected from the house for recycling and for stating that there were not enough materials for recycling (79 per cent).
Queensland: Highest for offering no reason for not recycling (5 per cent).
South Australia: Highest for proportion of households taking cans (35 per cent), plastic bottles (32 per cent), glass (21 per cent) and paper (6 per cent) to a central collection point other than the dump for recycling.
Western Australia: Highest percentage of households showing a lack of interest in recycling (18 per cent) and citing inadequate services or facilities as a reason for not recycling (7 per cent).
Tasmania: Highest for composting or mulching as a household waste disposal method (63 per cent).
Northern Territory: Highest for non-recycling (9 per cent) and for citing no recycling services or facilities provided (46 per cent).
Australian Capital Territory: Highest for recycling all items surveyed (12 per cent) and for level of awareness of household hazardous waste disposal facilities (60 per cent).
Further details may be found in Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0), available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If your wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.
NINE OUT OF TEN COMMUTERS WOULD RATHER DRIVE THAN USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
In March 2000, more than three out of four (76 per cent) Australians drove a car, truck or van to work or study, and for day-to-day travel besides work or study, almost nine out of ten commuters (87 per cent) chose to drive rather than use public transport, an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey revealed today.
Approximately one in ten (12 per cent) used the public transport system as their main form of transport to work or study, using mainly trains and buses (7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively), with young people between the age of 18 and 24 most reliant on it (23 per cent). The two primary reasons for not using public transport were the lack of service (30 per cent) and the unavailability of service at the right or convenient time (26 per cent).
People in the 35 to 44 years (83 per cent), and 45 to 54 years age groups (81 per cent) were the most likely to drive to work or study.
Almost a fifth of Australians (19 per cent) commuting to work or study claimed that public transport was unavailable to them, while 14 per cent of people who walked or cycled to work or study did so because there was no other option available to them.
The survey also showed that household vehicle ownership was high. Almost nine out of ten Australian households owned registered vehicles (89 per cent), with almost half (48 per cent) owning two or more. In 1996 approximately one in two household vehicles were run on unleaded petrol (54 per cent). This has increased to almost three out of every four vehicles (73 per cent) in 2000.
Cost was the main factor which influenced the decision on vehicle purchase (54 per cent). Two other strong determinants were vehicle size and fuel economy or running costs (both 36 per cent). Only 3 per cent of buyers believed that environmental impact was of primary importance.
State and Territory data
NSW: Highest for no household registered vehicles (14 per cent) and most likely to use public transport to travel to work or study (18 per cent).
Victoria: Highest for rail accessibility (49 per cent) and households owning LPG/LNG powered vehicles (9 per cent).
Queensland: Highest for the lack of public transport service to work or study (40 per cent), having a passenger in vehicle (6 per cent), and for people who walked or cycled to work or study stating they did so because of no other option available to them (24 per cent).
South Australia: Highest for citing engine capacity/performance as a consideration factor in vehicle purchase (16 per cent).
Western Australia: Highest for households purchasing a vehicle in the previous 12 months (27 per cent) and for households with two or more vehicles (54 per cent).
Tasmania: Highest percentage for households owning cars running on leaded fuel (28 per cent), cars without air conditioning (46 per cent), and the most likely to drive to work or study (82 per cent).
Northern Territory: Highest for cars with air conditioning (86 per cent), do not cycle due to non-ownership of bicycles (13 per cent), and for not taking public transport to work or study because own vehicle was needed before, during or after hours (21 per cent).
Australian Capital Territory: Highest for proportion of unleaded fuel vehicles (81 per cent), availability of bus service (97 per cent), and people using buses to travel to work or study (8 per cent).
Details in Environmental Issues, People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0) available from ABS Bookshops. The summary of the main survey findings are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.
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This page last updated 10 October 2006