Open Menu
Login Hamburger menu icon

Waste Hierarchy & Duty Of Care In Northern Ireland – What Businesses Need To Know

Each year, Northern Ireland businesses are literally throwing away profits, due to the inefficient handling of their waste.

Many restaurant owners are unaware of the impact of excessive food waste on their bottom line, while very often those with commercial premises are not making good enough use of their resources.

Duty Of Care legislation - Waste Hierarchy Northern Ireland

With those financial consequences in mind, it goes without saying that a better understanding of the waste hierarchy can lead to increased efficiency and profitability, as well helping your business operate with environmental responsibility.

There is also a legal requirement (current and pending) to spend some time considering how you deal with your rubbish. If your business produces waste, there is Duty Of Care legislation in place, designed to ensure that you take all measures to firstly, prevent waste, and secondly apply the waste hierarchy when you transfer it.


The Stages of Waste Hierarchy

There are five stages of waste hierarchy. They are Prevention, Preparing, Recycling, Other Recovery and Disposal. The options are ranked according to what is best for the environment. The preference is always to prevent waste if possible. When this is unachievable, the priority is to re-use, recycle, or recover energy from it. The last option should be to dispose of your residual waste by sending it to landfill (sending waste to landfill is not something we as a business agree with).

Example of Waste Hierarchy in a Commercial Setting

We have laid out how the waste hierarchy principles may work in an office, with relation to paper waste.

Prevention – print less, move to paperless systems.

Preparing For Reuse – shred paper to recycle or reuse as packaging material.

Recycling – Provide recycling bins in office & arrange regular recycling collections.

Other Recovery – Paper and card can be used to produce recycled products with all the associated by-products being used for Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF), an alternative to fossil fuels

Disposal – landfill should be avoided at all costs for paper waste.

How ISL Waste Management Belfast can help

ISL Waste Management has long been dedicated to helping clients achieve a zero waste status. We work to ensure that all of your waste is diverted away from landfill. It is our goal to develop an in-depth knowledge of your business, so we can maximize resources and profits, while minimising waste. We do this by applying a sophisticated and tailored waste hierarchy.

ISL Waste team planning zero waste strategy for Belfast business


Prevention – ISL provide expert training and advice.

Preparing For Reuse – Advise on and assist with waste segregation, shredding & cleaning.

Recycling – Providing appropriate bins and recycling collections when and where suits you best.

Other Recovery – ISL can help you achieve zero waste goals by processing your commercial waste to recover all the viable recyclable resource from your waste with the residual only being turned into SRF & RDF fuel. We also send food waste for composting & anaerobic digestion.

Disposal – Always our last option, if all others have been exhausted.

We are so confident about how we tackle your waste, that we operate in complete transparency. Clients can track waste from the day it leaves their premises right through to its ultimate disposal.

A large number of our local clients have already signed up to the BITCNI Zero Waste initiative, including: Catalyst IncCitibankGreiner Packaging and Norbev Ltd, and we’ve been working with them actively on achieving these goals.

If you would like to join this ever growing list of responsible and ethical companies, get in touch for a commercial or food waste consultation.