Stage 1: Making the case

Making the case for waste prevention requires an understanding of the possible types of waste prevention activities that could be adopted and an indication of what these could achieve if they were implemented.    

The case will be stronger if defensible and quantitative estimates of outcomes are produced before committing to the planning and implementation of an activity. There are many significant economic, social and environmental benefits associated with waste prevention, as well as policy drivers for developing a waste prevention plan.

It is advisable to focus resources on the activities which have the most impact. This may be in terms of:

  • financial cost reduction (to the authority or householder);
  • environmental impact;
  • social value and/or service provision in terms of tonnes diverted from disposal.

Data on potential savings/impacts can be based on past waste prevention programmes, some run in your own local authority area, and also from research publications and calculator tools which have pooled data from research across the country.

An authority will not be able to influence all types of wastes by working exclusively with residents - there are some elements of the waste stream that other organisations are better placed to act on e.g. retailer initiatives to reduce packaging of consumer goods.