About the waste hierachy

The “waste hierarchy” ranks waste management options according to what is best for the environment. It gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place. 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).

On every Waste Transfer Note you now need to sign a declaration to confirm you have fulfilled your duty to apply the waste hierarchy as required by regulation 12 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

As an organisation disposing of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), you need to take all such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to apply the waste hierarchy to prevent waste, and to apply the hierarchy as a priority order when you transfer your waste to another person.

The majority of WEEE disposed of still has life left in it. It is best practice to get as much use as possible out of equipment before replacing it.

What are your responsibilities?

As a waste producer, it is your responsibility to try and minimise the amount of waste you produce – before you pass it to us, can you get any further use from it?

We are happy to advise you on ways to reduce your WEEE output

How we fulfil our duty

Everything that we collect is considered for reuse before anything else.

Anything that is deemed unusable gets transferred to Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) where it is broken down to core components and recycled; for example a broken printer will be reduced down to metal, plastic, cable, PCB etc.

Any materials that cannot be recycled after been broken down are usually useful for energy recovery (especially non-hazardous mixed plastic)

At the end of this process there is almost nothing that goes to landfill.

The Waste Hierachy

  • Prevention

    using less material in design and manufacture, keeping products for longer, re-use, using less hazardous materials

  • Preparing for re-use

    checking, cleaning, repairing, refurbishing, whole items or spare parts

  • Recycling

    turning waste into a new substance or product, includes composting if it meets quality protocols

  • Other recovery

    includes anaerobic digestion, incineration with energy recovery, gasification and pyrolysis which produce energy (fuels, heat and power) and materials from waste, some backfilling

  • Disposal

    landfill and incineration without energy recovery

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