Waste Hierarchy

What does it mean?

The Waste Hierarchy is based on the principle that it is better to not to create waste in the first place.  It ranks the options for managing waste according to what is best for the environment.

It gives top priority to preventing waste form the outset but when waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use, then recycling, then recovery and last of all disposal (e.g. landfill).

  • reduce
  • reuse
  • recycle
  • incineration with energy recovery
  • incineration
  • landfill.

Who does this effect?

Any business or organisation that imports or produces, collects, transports, recovers or disposes of waste, or who operate as dealers and brokers, must take all reasonable measures to apply the waste hierarchy when the waste is transferred.

What does this mean for your business?

A benefit to implementing the principles of the Waste Hierarchy is that is can help your business to become more cost effective:

  • Plan how you will apply the waste hierarchy
  • Monitor your performance regularly
  • Know what waste you are producing, and make efforts to produce less, sort and segregate the waste you do produce to help you or others recover value from it

Waste transfer and consignment notes

Waste transfer notes and hazardous waste consignment notes contain a declaration that the waste hierarchy has been considered in deciding the most appropriate waste management option for that waste.

What do I do next?

For more information on putting The Waste Hierarchy into practice get in touch with us using the contact form on this page or visit The Environment Agency website.