South Australia's recycling activity in 2020–21

The Circular Economy Resource Recovery Report replaces the previous Recycling Activity Survey reports and summarises the quantities of resources diverted from waste in SA through recycling, re-use or energy recovery over the 2020-21 financial year. 

Read on for a quick snapshot of SA’s recycling performance, or see the latest report for more detail.

  • An estimated 5 million tonnes of waste materials was generated, and 83.3% of this (4.2 million tonnes) was recovered for further use
  • 89% of recovered materials were reprocessed locally in SA
  • Since 2003, the recycling rate has improved by nearly 22%, and the resource recovery has increased from 2 million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes a year
  • The waste management, resource recovery and recycling sector employs approximately 2,108 full-time equivalent employees. 
  • In SA, the waste sector contributes $478 million to the state economy
  • SA leads the nation with the best recycling rate
  • SA’s diversion and recovery rate means 1.14 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are not being released, the same as planting 1.7 million trees, or taking 229,000 cars off the road in one year