The Waste Hierarchy Model is something with which we all need to become familiar. It is the template for a modern waste management service and at its core is driven by the concept of waste prevention. This section describes the actions we can all take to prevent waste and also examines issues such as recycling and energy recovery.
The three ‘Rs’ of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle describe much of how we should handle our waste.
Reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place;
Reuse items as often as possible – to put less strain on the world’s finite resources.
And Recycle appropriate man-made and natural materials.
There is also, however, a fourth ‘R’, ‘Recover’ – which means turning waste into a valuable resource such as renewable energy.
Finally, once all other options have been explored, waste which can’t be recycled or recovered is disposed.
This is what is known as the waste hierarchy model.
In an ideal world the vast majority of our waste should be recycled or recovered. Unfortunately, at present we simply dump too much and don’t reduce nearly enough.
It is clear that a new approach is needed and the North West Region Waste Management Group has plans to transform what happens to our waste.
Together, we can completely turn things around.