Waste is generally split into three broad streams:
- Local Authority Collected waste: waste collected by the waste collection authority (district and borough councils) or its agents. This waste includes some commercial and industrial waste, fly-tipped waste, litter and waste taken to household waste recycling centres.
- Commercial and Industrial waste: waste created from premesis which are used wholly or mainly for trade (i.e. shops and offices), businesses, sport, recreation or entertainment.
- Construction and demolition waste: waste building materials resulting from the construciton, remodeling repair or demolition of buildngs, bridges, pavements and other structures. Construction and demolition waste includes intert waste (e.g. concrete, wood, rubble and masonry), plastics and hazardous materials (e.g. lead, asbestos and liquid paints).
- The construction industry consumes 420 million tonnes of materials each year. Of these materials, 120 million tonnes is wasted. Of this waste, 25 million tonnes is disposed of in landfill. Landfill sites are in short supply, produce local environmental impacts, and the transport of waste to landfill sites creates more carbon dioxide emissions.
- Within the construction industry 13% of waste is new, unused material. (BRE)
- Typically, more than 85% of demolition waste materials from construction processes can be reused or recycled.
- Recent studies of housing projects show that by taking care in selecting and specifying commonly used house-building materials, it is possible to increase the use of recycled material by up to 600% - 8% by value - avoiding over 60 tonnes of waste being landfilled, without spending more.
- The European Landfill Directive set targets requiring a progressive decrease in the amount of biodegradable waste landfilled.
- The Waste Management Plan for England sets out targets from the EU waste framework directive, by 2020:
- At least 50% by weight of waste from households is prepared for re-use or recycled.
- At least 70% by weight of contruction and demolition waste is subjected to material recovery.
- EU target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020.
- 70% target for recovering construction and demolition waste.
- England and the UK are already achieving an estimated 93% recovery rate of construction and demolition waste.
- In 2012/13, the amount of waste produced in Hertfordshire was approximately 3 million tonnes, around a quarter (500,000 tonnes) of which is household waste. 1m C&I and 1.5m C&D.
- The only landfill in Hertfordshire currently acceopting a mixture of Local Authority and Commercial & Industruial waste in Westmill in Ware, and this only has permission to continue receiving waste until 2017.
- In 2006-07, the county and District Councils spend more than £54 million collecting and disposing of local Authority Collected waste. These costs are increasing significantly each year in line with the landfill tax escalator. They should be able to get up to date figures from waste management recieving but 2010/11 = 47% recycled and composted; 7% EfW and 45% landfill.
- In 2012/13, 45% of Hertfordshire's waste was recycled by residents compared to the national average of 43.2%.
- The waste planning documents for Hertfordshire promote waste prevention and minimalisation and require Site Waste Management Plans for construction projects in the county.