Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report 2018–19

Last updated: 23 July 2021

Key statistics

In Victoria, the waste and resource recovery sector manages a variety of waste streams, including construction and demolition, commercial and industrial and household municipal collection. In 2018–19 the data from these collections showed that in Victoria:

  • 15.3 million tonnes of waste was generated
  • 4.6 million tonnes of waste was sent to landfill
  • 10.8 million tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill at a diversion rate of 70%
Total materials recovered in Victoria, 2018–19. 15.3 million tonnes of waste generated by Victorians. 4.6 million tonnes sent to landfill. 10.8 million tonnes diverted at a rate of 70% from landfill.

Key insights

In 2018–19 Victoria's waste and resource recovery sector managed more material than the previous year at just over 15.3 million tonnes, and achieved a diversion rate of 70%. The total amount of material recovered for reprocessing was 10.8 million tonnes, an 8% increase from 2017–18.

In the last two years the amount of material recovered for reprocessing has increased by 25% driven mainly by increases in the recovery of material from the construction and demolition sector.

Key insights from the 2018–19 report include:

  • Diversion rates for materials collected from households (43%) and the construction and demolition (87%) sector increased in 2018–19 compared with 2017–18; however, the diversion rate for commercial and industrial (61%) sector decreased.
  • Victoria’s recovered resources were predominantly reprocessed locally in 2018–19 (90% of the total) led by increases in construction and demolition waste recovery (61% of all materials recovered for reprocessing).
  • For some materials (mainly glass, and paper and cardboard), there were changes in the amounts received locally or exported for reprocessing. This was due to:
    • EPA Victoria non-compliance issues at sorting facilities resulting in site closures
    • materials entering storage with the intention that they would be later processed
    • global shifts in material commodity values and export market access
    • contamination rates in kerbside recycling collection bins.
  • Victoria is still reliant on overseas markets for some material reprocessing especially paper and cardboard and plastics. Proportions of the following waste types were processed in Victoria in 2018–19:
    • 100% of aggregates, masonry and soils
    • 99% of organics
    • 93% of glass
    • 67% of metals
    • 61% of paper and cardboard
    • 43% of plastics.
  • The volume of organics recovered for reprocessing increased by 20% in 2018–19. This is likely to be due to increased collections of food and garden organics from households and businesses.

About the report

Every year, the Victorian Government surveys reprocessing organisations across the state to better understand the amount of waste recovered for recycling purposes in Victoria. This year, the report includes insights from a wider range of sources to provide a more comprehensive view of waste management in Victoria than in previous years. These sources include:

  • Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria data on quantities sent to landfill
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) commodity export data
  • Australian Plastics Recycling Survey on plastics consumption and recovery
  • Victorian Local Government Annual Waste Services Report 2018–19 on materials collected from households in Victoria
  • Recovered Resources Market Bulletin on resource recovery markets.

This report also contains a baseline measurement against the four key targets in the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria: A New Economy policy released in 2020.


Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report

The Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report details the amount of waste generated, landfilled and recovered in Victoria.

Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Workbook

Data from the final report, including the tonnes of waste generated from various source sectors and trend data for recovered material types.

Archived reports

To see archived reports, view archived waste data and reports