Guide

Waste reviews, policies and action plans

Create a waste management action plan

Once you have carried out a waste review and created a waste policy, you can develop an action plan. Start with waste reduction measures that are inexpensive and easy to implement. For example, if you are in an office-based business you could change computer settings so that printing automatically makes use of both sides of paper and encourage staff to use scrap paper as notepads.

Next, consider the information your waste review produced. Take these key steps:

  • Identify the areas where there are the highest net costs - eg in the shape of waste disposal costs, energy consumption, packaging waste and raw material wastage.
  • Involve employees - talk to staff involved in the activities that produce this waste. Ask them what they think the key problems are and ask for their suggestions for ways to reduce waste.
  • Create a shortlist of key ideas.

Once you have decided on a plan, set out targets, objectives, key actions and deadlines for achieving them. Identify who is responsible for implementing each part of the policy. Choose an employee with access to management or a senior member of staff to co-ordinate your waste reduction programme. Make sure you review progress regularly and look for further improvements.

Environmental management systems

If you have an environmental management system, it should have plans, targets and objectives that help you to improve your waste management.

Construction waste rules

If you are planning a construction project worth more than £300,000 (excluding VAT), you should have a site waste management plan (SWMP) in place. Although this is not a legal requirement in Northern Ireland, it helps with best practice.

The aim of the SWMP is to identify waste materials at the earliest stage of the project - so that reuse and recovery of waste materials can be built into the design of the project.