State of Environment

Indicator 53 - Waste returned to Australia

Index: Description | Custodian evaluation | Related resources | Parameters


Responsible organisation

Australian Antarctic Division ( Australia )


No custodians.

Theme area

Human Settlements

Indicator type

Pressure Response

Criteria the indicator satisfies

The following 9 out of 15 criteria

1. Serve as a robust indicator of environmental change
2. Reflect a fundamental or highly-valued aspect of the environment or an important environmental issue
3. Be either national in scope or applicable to regional environmental issues of national significance
5. Be capable of being monitored to provide statistically verifiable and reproducible data that shows trends over time and, preferably, apply to a broad range of environmental regions
7. Be easy to understand
9. Be cost-effective
10. Have relevance to policy and management needs
11. Contribute to monitoring of progress towards implementing commitments in nationally important environmental policies
12. Where possible and appropriate, facilitate community involvement

Date input

Monitoring location

Geographic coverage


Temporal range of the available data, as described by the metadata record, is from 30-Sep-2000 .

2000/01 to 2012/13
Number of data points

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Total material returned to Australia from Mawson (details)

Total material returned to Australia from Casey (details)

Total material returned to Australia from Davis (details)

Total material returned to Australia from Macquarie Island (details)

Data quality, interpretation and analysis of indicator data

Data usage constraints

' This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License ( Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data. '

Data access constraints

' These data are publicly available for download at the provided URL. '

Custodian evaluation

26 Jun 2002

This is the first data set for the indicator. These and future figures may not be immediately indicative of the waste annually generated, eg the 2000/01 data may include waste that was not able to be retrieved in the 1999/00 shipping season. Early season resupplies (as typically occurs for Davis) may also result in waste being returned to Australia a season later than the calendar year in which it was generated. Significant variations in total waste reported are also expected as major clean-up programs of old sites occur.

The categories used are those adopted by the AAD's waste management contractor. In calculating "Total material returned to Australia", 1 litre of fluid (oil, fuel, paint) is deemed to weigh 1 kilogram. "Other waste" typically includes a large component of building materials and rubble associated with construction or decommissioning activities.

Approximately 55% of the waste returned in 2000/01 was reused, recycled or otherwise diverted from landfill. Waste treated and disposed (not land filled), reused or recycled, typically includes battery acid, laboratory chemicals, sewage sludge, grey water, paint, oil, paper, glass, aluminium, plastic (PET and HDPE), steel, copper, building materials and brass.

16 Aug 2005

36% of the waste returned to Australia in the 2001/02 summer was diverted from landfill. 37% of the waste returned to Australia in the 2002/03 summer was diverted from landfill.

4 Jul 2013

In 2010-11, 33% of waste returned to Australia from the stations was diverted from landfill. In 2011-12, 40% of the waste returned to Australia from the stations was diverted from landfill, which included a large amount of recycling returned from Mawson station that was not collected in 2010-11, due to the inability of the ship to get into Mawson that season due to large icebergs blocking the flow of fast ice out of the Mawson region. All resupply done by helicopter that season and much RTA was left til 2011-12 season for retrieval. LF

Pressure scale - 2
1 - undetectable external pressure on the environment
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - extreme external pressure on the environment, degradation accelerating
Response scale - 2
1 - Management resourcing is nil
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Management resourcing to ensure total remediation in short timeframe
State of Knowledge scale - 4 - Fair
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

For definitions of the Scale categories, consult the Explanation of the Status Categories

Related resources

Project 726 - A Transnational Analysis of Waste Management Strategies: Legal, Policy and Implementation Dimensions of the Madrid Protocol
SOE Indicator 47 - Number and nature of incidents resulting in environmental impact
SOE Indicator 48 - Station and ship person days
SOE Indicator 54 - Amount of waste incinerated at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 57 - Monthly incinerator fuel usage of Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 69 - Resources committed to environmental issues
SOE Indicator 77 - Meteorological Radiosonde Pollution at Australian Antarctic Stations


The properties link can be used to view details of the parameters measured for this indicator.

Parameter Name Unit of measure Properties
Acids Litres Properties
Alkaline Batteries kg Properties
Aluminium Kilograms Properties
Asbestos Contaminated Materials kg Properties
Ash kg Properties
Brass Kilograms Properties
Cardboard kilograms Properties
Chemicals litres Properties
Co-mingled glass and plastics kilograms Properties
Cooking Oil and Fat Litres Properties
Copper Kilograms Properties
fluorescent lights Items Properties
Food - General kilograms Properties
Fuels/fuel slops Kilograms Properties
Glycol litres Properties
Grey Water litres Properties
Lead-Acid Batteries Kilograms Properties
Lithium Batteries Kilograms Properties
NiCd Batteries Kilograms Properties
Oil Litres Properties
Oil filters Kilograms Properties
Oily waters Litres Properties
Other waste Kilograms Properties
Oxidisers Litres Properties
Paint Litres Properties
Paper Products Kilograms Properties
Parts Wash litres Properties
Photo Waste kg Properties
Sewage Sludge litres Properties
Solvents Litres Properties
Steel Kilograms Properties
Steel Cans Kilograms Properties
Steel Drums number Properties
Total material returned to Australia Kilograms Properties
Volume of discharge litres Properties
Wood and Wood Products kilograms Properties

The following parameters and/or sensor notes are from the metadata record.



Related URLs
Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre