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Waste Management Policy

After reviewing your waste, the next step is to decide where you want to be. This is the purpose of the waste management policy. It is a statement of the institution’s broad principles and intentions in relation to waste management, demonstrating the institution’s commitment and providing the framework for practical action.

Since many institutions already have, or are considering the development of, a sustainability or environmental policy, it is probably most appropriate to include waste management as a section within this wider policy. This will help to emphasise the central importance of good waste management in the overall environmental performance of the institution. In addition to this, a more detailed waste policy is useful to focus more closely on specific areas which need to be addressed. The exact content of the policy will depend on the needs of individual institutions. Some general issues to include are summarised below.

The policy should address the following issues:

  • Compliance with waste management legislation
  • Reduction in the quantity of waste generated through waste minimisation
  • Reduction of the environmental impact of waste disposal through reuse, recycling and composting
  • Ensure the safe handling and storage of waste on campus
  • Provision of appropriate training for staff and students on waste management issues

When writing a policy it is important to ensure that it…

  • is relevant to your institution. It should focus on the waste streams that are actually generated.
  • is achievable within a realistic timeframe. Remember that a policy is not fixed in tablets of stone and should be amended and updated periodically.
  • is confined to broad statements of principle rather than detailed commitments. The policy forms the framework for setting objectives and targets.
  • is consistent with other policies, for example the environmental policy or health and safety policy of the institution.

After reviewing your waste, the next step is to decide where you want to be. This is the purpose of the waste management policy. It is a statement of the institution’s broad principles and intentions in relation to waste management, demonstrating the institution’s commitment and providing the framework for practical action.