Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 677–686 | Cite as

Estimating industrial solid waste and municipal solid waste data at high resolution using economic accounts: an input–output approach with Australian case study

  • Christian Reynolds
  • Arne Geschke
  • Julia Piantadosi
  • John Boland


In publicly available waste reports only the totals of waste produced for municipal, or industry waste typically feature. The types of waste generated and the generating industry sector are usually omitted. We propose the direct inputs waste estimation methodology to create a detailed estimate of municipal solid waste and industrial solid waste for an economy (including sectoral and waste type disaggregation) using a top-down estimation methodology that links the aforementioned limited publicly available waste data with an input–output table’s direct inputs (A) matrix. We then provide an application of the direct inputs waste estimation methodology upon the 2008 waste generation of Australia resulting in a 344 industry sector and 14 waste type data set. The resulting estimation gives unique insights into Australian waste generation; including the large C&I tonnages of waste estimated to be produced from the Service sectors such as the Education, Hospitality, and Health sectors as well as the large amount of food waste produced throughout the economy.


Waste accounts Environmental accounts National accounting Input–output analysis 



This paper is based on research conducted as part of the ARC Linkage Project ‘Zeroing in on Food Waste: Measuring, understanding and reducing food waste’ (LP0990554) funded by the Australian Research Council and industry partners Zero Waste South Australia and the Local Government Association of South Australia. Thanks to Manfred Lenzen, Atiq Zaman and Jacob Fry for advice on prior versions of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 50 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 86 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 297 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Reynolds
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arne Geschke
    • 2
  • Julia Piantadosi
    • 1
  • John Boland
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Barbara Hardy InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.Integrated Sustainability AnalysisUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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