Envirowise – Introduction to the Waste Hierarchy

What is the waste hierarchy?
The waste hierarchy identifies waste disposal options and ranks them in order of increasing environmental impact.
All companies should aim to eliminate waste from the onset, but if this is not practical or possible, then con

What is the waste hierarchy?

The waste hierarchy identifies waste disposal options and ranks them in order of increasing environmental impact. All companies should aim to eliminate waste from the onset, but if this is not practical or possible, then consider reducing, re-using or recycling waste. If none of these steps apply, then dispose of waste in a responsible manner.

How do I move up the waste hierarchy?

Waste disposal has the greatest impact on the environment and typically is the least cost-effective waste management solution for your company. Therefore, by moving up the waste hierarchy you could save money, raw materials, water, energy, improve your image and reduce your impact on the environment. The information on the reverse of this leaflet should help you move up the hierarchy.

Finding where waste is coming from:

Under the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 (and subsequent amendment, 2003)1 all companies have a duty of care to understand and account for the types and quantities of waste they produce. Waste types are classified as controlled wastes (household, commercial or industrial) or special/hazardous wastes. To identify where wastes are generated, walk around your site and produce a waste map. For more information on waste reviews and mapping, see the Envirowise publication ET219 Waste mapping – your route to more profit. It is also a good idea to identify a waste champion within your business, whose role it is to identify waste streams, collect data and prepare a strategy for managing and reporting on wastes.

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