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Waste and pollution

Reducing waste

The image below shows that preventing waste in the first place is the most favourable option. Where this is not possible, then re-using [re-use: To use a resource more than once. For example, a milk bottle can be used again if it is returned and refilled. ] products or recycling [recycle: To use a material more than once. For example, a glass bottle can be recycled by melting it down and re-forming it as a jam jar. ] is better for the environment than disposal in a landfill.

Waste hierarchy diagram

Waste hierarchy diagram

National strategies and targets

  • The government sets recycling targets for local councils.
  • Government grants are available for businesses and households installing environmentally friendly technologies, such as solar panels.
  • New buildings have strict national guidelines for energy efficiency.

Local strategies and targets

  • Combined Heat and Power systems [combined heat and power system: A system which recovers heat lost through the production of energy and uses it to produce hot water. This can be used by homes or public buildings. ] can be put in place.
  • One example is the Southampton Community Heating Scheme where luxury apartments are served by one community boiler, reducing energy wastage and costs.
  • Schools and communities can also put in place measures - such as recycling bins or informative posters - to raise awareness of energy wastage (eg reminding people to turn lights off).

Household responsibilities

Solar panels on the roof of a house

Solar panels on the roof of a house, converting sunlight directly into electricity

  • Households are given different types of bin to sort their waste into. Recycling bins are sometimes collected more frequently to encourage their use.
  • People can install insulation and double glazing to conserve household energy.
  • There is reduced VAT to pay for installing environmentally friendly technologies in homes.

The image below shows some ways of saving energy and using environmentally friendly technology.

Energy saving house diagram

There are many ways in which a household can save energy

Back to Wasting resources index

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