Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy is a cornerstone of the EU’s Waste Framework Directive. Waste prevention, which offers the best outcomes for the environment, is at the top of the priority order, followed by preparing for re-use, recycling, other recovery and disposal, in descending order of environmental preference.

As of 1st October 2011 all businesses are required to apply the waste management hierarchy when transferring waste and to include a declaration on their waste transfer note that this has been done.

If your business or organisation produces or handles waste, you now have a legal obligation to take all reasonable measures 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.

Waste Hierarchy

Your duties are set out in Regulations 12, 15 and 35 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

As part of Regulation 35 your waste transfer note must now include the SIC code (UK Standard Industrial Classification of Industrial Activities) of the transferor. Information on the correct SIC code for your business activity can be found on the Waste Support website.

Businesses should review their waste management policies and put in place additional procedures, if necessary, to ensure compliance with these regulations.


Call freephone 0800 731 3400 now to arrange your free waste audit.

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