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 products or recycling is better for the environment than disposal in a landfill.

The hierachy of how we should deal with waste

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 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 provide electricity for affordable houses in California
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.

Key ways of saving energy around the home