Waste avoidance and minimisation

Waste avoidance is simply avoiding the production of waste. It is often associated with the terms ‘waste reduction’ or ‘source reduction’, as well as ‘waste minimisation’. As stated in Background to Waste Management, minimisation is at the top of the waste hierarchy, and contrary to popular perception, reducing the amount of waste that is produced can be achieved relatively simply. Slight modifications of procedures and/or altering procurement practices can improve efficiencies in utilising resources, leading to a reduction in the amount of waste produced.

You could develop policies that can relate to specific items such as paper, IT equipment or furniture.

Ideas to include in a policy for reduction of paper use

The National Resource and Waste Forum has published a toolkit for preventing household waste. Although not aimed at FHE, it provides some good advice and information (planning, campaigns and case studies) on preventing waste being produced.

SEPA and the Environment Agency both have their own waste minimisation websites.

Envirowise has some industry specific examples of waste minimisation.