In its simplest form, the waste hierarchy gives top priority to preventing waste. When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for reuse, then recycling, then other recovery, and last of all disposal (i.e. landfill).
Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) makes it the duty of everyone (with the exception of occupiers of domestic properties as respects the household waste produced at those properties) who produces, keeps or manages controlled waste, or as a broker or dealer has control of such waste, to:
“take all such measures available to that person as are reasonable in the circumstances to apply the waste hierarchy set out in Article 4(1) of the Waste Directive”.
“take all reasonable steps to ensure that the waste is managed in manner which promotes high quality recycling”.
This document provides guidance on the discharge of these duties and on the circumstances in which the duty may be departed from.