PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Waste Management Strategy: The Waste Management Hierarchy
1.21 The Waste Management Hierarchy (see Figure 1) is at the centre of European waste management policy. The hierarchy indicates the relative priority of different methods of managing waste, and informs the process of drafting waste management policy and planning initiatives on how to progress towards more sustainable waste management practices. The Waste Management Strategy promotes more sustainable waste management practices based on this hierarchy.
Figure 1: The Waste Management Hierarchy
The appropriate management option in a particular case will vary according to the source of the waste and local considerations. A sustainable approach to waste management requires greater emphasis on options at the top of the hierarchy and less reliance on waste disposal to landfill without recovery.
1.22 Waste Minimisation is at the top of the waste hierarchy and is a critical element of sustainable waste management. The planning system can do little to prevent materials from being discarded in the first place or to reduce the level of hazard associated with those materials being discarded. However, the planning system can encourage the better use of resources and promote waste minimisation in new development (see Annex B). Effective recycling and reuse of materials can further reduce the demand for new resources and prevent discarding of materials. These steps together with a reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill can all contribute to waste minimisation.