WasteWaste hierarchy
Waste hierarchy

The waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle is critical to achieve sustainable waste management in schools. This is a proactive process to prevent waste production at an early stage, through reducing raw materials used, using recycled materials and avoiding waste production.

When initiating a school development, all stakeholders should have a clear commitment towards waste minimisation, through specifying reuse, which includes:

  • supporting construction methods which use recycled material rather than raw materials from virgin sources;
  • encouraging the use of pre-fabricated materials to reduce waste on the site, and adopt simpler building designs to increase material efficiency;
  • use materials that are not harmful to human and the environment throughout the building’s life-time.

Constraints to good waste minimisation include:

  • time – time is needed to manage waste effectively such as segregating waste and providing information;
  • awareness and motivation - people do not understand the negative impacts of waste and its disposal;
  • cost - financial input is required to establish the infrastructure for waste minimisation and recycling;
  • information and skills - lack of information and skills in how to manage waste properly.

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) works in England, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland to help businesses and individuals reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.
One of WRAP’s key objectives is to HALVE WASTE TO LANDFILL. The 21st Century Schools programme fully supports the following WRAP statement:
 ‘In all of our development work, our aim will be to minimise any adverse impacts that construction has on the environment. We will seek to do this through the design process, materials selection, construction techniques and operational methods. All organisations appointed to work on our behalf will be required to work in accordance with these principles.
The waste to landfill objective is to use materials efficiently and specifically to support our objective to halve waste to landfill by 2012. Project teams will work to the following general design principles:

  • forecast likely waste streams;
  • reduce materials wasted in construction;
  • reduce the proportion of waste that is sent to landfill;
  • reduce materials use in construction; and
  • increase the use of recovered materials and materials with above-average levels of recycled content.

Project teams will be required to:

  • implement Site Waste Management Plans that not only meet any minimum regulatory requirements but exceed compliance by setting project-specific targets for waste reduction and recovery and measuring performance;
  • measure and report progress against the corporate KPIs for waste and waste to landfill measured in tonnes per £100k construction value [using the WRAP Waste to Landfill Reporting Portal];
  • recover a minimum of 70% of construction materials;
  • recover a minimum of 80% of demolition and strip-out; and
  • ensure that at least 15% of total material value derives from reused and recycled content in new build, selecting the top opportunities to exceed this figure without increasing the cost of materials, and report actual performance.

Project teams will be asked to use WRAP’s Net Waste Tool to forecast wastage and set targets for waste reduction from the design stage.

What should I do?

Apply the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible.

WLGA - CLILC Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru / Welsh Assembly Government