THE WASTE HIERARCHY: Through research I quickly stumbled across the concept of the Waste Hierarchy. The concept is widely used in the sustainable waste management discussion and works as a tool for policy making.
The waste hierarchy aims to encourage the management of waste materials in order to reduce the amount of waste materials produced, and to recover maximum value from the wastes that are produced. It is not applied as a strict hierarchy as many complex factors influence the optimal management for any given waste material.
However, as a guide, it encourages the prevention of waste, followed by the reuse and refurbishment of goods, then value recovery through recycling and composting. In essence, policy making in countries like Sweden, actively try to work to constantly move up the hierarchy when passing new policy on waste.
Author: Ektander, Caroline