Our use of cookies We use necessary cookies to make our site work. Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, website analytics and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our privacy policy.

To agree to our use of cookies, click the 'Accept' button.
Accept
 

National lockdown: Stay at home

Waste explained

Why should I care about how much waste I produce?

The average Briton is using more than three times their share of the world’s resources. We all need to think about what we buy and try to reduce the amount of waste we produce.

The waste hierarchy describes ways of dealing with waste in order of importance. At the top of the hierarchy, and the most important action we can take is reduce, followed by reuse and recycle. At the bottom is recover and landfill.

Waste-hierachy

In Staffordshire, most of the waste which is not re-used or recycled is sent to one of our two Energy Recovery Facilities, where it is used as a fuel to generate electricity. Whilst these plants are a much better option than landfill, it is more important to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible to keep valuable resources in circulation for longer.

 

Reduce

Reducing the amount of waste we produce is a great way to lessen our impact on the environment and can save money.

There are lots of ways to make a real difference. For example, you can reduce your waste by:

  • Cutting down on food waste by planning the food shopping and only buy what we need. Did you know the average family could save £700 a year by simply reducing the amount of food being thrown away?
  • Buying products with less packaging. Try to avoid buying items which are individually wrapped. Where possible look out for refill packs or concentrated products, or products that can be used more than once, for example, rechargeable batteries.
  • Take a re-usable carrier bag shopping with you.
  • Stop getting junk mail through the door.
  • Avoid single use items such as disposal coffee cups and opt for a re-usable mug.

Re-use

After reducing waste, the second best option is to reuse items. Here are a few suggestions for reusing items.

Recycle

If you can’t reduce or reuse the next best option is to recycle your unwanted items. Recycling is a process that turns unwanted items into something new.  This helps to save on resources by reducing the need to extract new materials and requires less energy.

Staffordshire provides lots of ways for you to recycle, if you are unsure if it can be recycled please check first. It is important not to mix non-recyclable waste in the recycling collections as this can contaminate the load and could lead the whole load being rejected from the recycling facility.

 

Recovery

The majority of waste that isn’t re-used or recycled is sent to one of our two energy recovery facilities in Four Ashes and Hanford. These plants burn waste at extremely high temperatures in a controlled environment to produce energy which is fed back to the grid.

Whilst these plants are a much better option than landfilling our waste, it is still important to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

The energy recovery plant at Four Ashes is operated on behalf of Staffordshire County Council by Veolia. Tours of the plant can be arranged on request for Staffordshire schools and community groups. Please contact Hilary on 0203 567 6300 for information.

Landfill

There is a small amount of waste which currently can’t be recycled or sent for energy recovery. Currently less than 3% of Staffordshire’s municipal waste is being landfilled and we are working hard to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2020.

There are no results that match your search criteria


Latest environment news

Pupils secure funding towards cost of new school bike shed

Pupils from Walton High School in Stafford are celebrating after receiving funding to build a new bike shed for Sixth Form students.
Date:
22 February 2021

Ancient trees under threat from damage

Ancient oak trees dating back to the time of King Henry VIII are being damaged by people building illegal trails through Brocton Coppice for use by mountain bikes, off-road motorbikes and quad bikes.
Date:
16 February 2021

£7.8m Cannock Chase conservation plan backed

£7.8 million plans to protect Cannock Chase's vulnerable landscape and wildlife for future generations have been backed by Staffordshire County Council.
Date:
20 January 2021

Climate change funding still available

Community groups, parish councils and schools with projects that help tackle climate change are being reminded that there is still time to apply for funding.
Date:
14 January 2021

Visit the Staffordshire Newsroom