The Waste Hierarchy

With today’s waste management we strive to reach the top stages of the so-called waste hierarchy. This means that the first priority is to avoid waste generation, the second to reuse, thereafter to recycle materials, then energy recovery and lastly to landfill.

In the waste hierarchy the prevention of waste is at the top. Measures that prevent waste save the most resources and energy and also reduces the amount of waste generated. It is vital to take into consideration a non-toxic environment and resource efficiency at an early stage. Long before waste is even generated.

IVL works with all the stages in the waste hierarchy, from prevention to landfill. Only by considering the entire life span of a product can the total impact on the environment be assessed: from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing, distribution, use and waste treatment.

Circular Economy

In order to reduce the total environmental impact and the total resource use it is therefore important that the product is used in the most efficient way possible. This is one of the cornerstones in circular economy thinking.

Modern waste treatment has a strong connection to circular economy. Circular economy is an expression for economic models that highlight business opportunities with circular loops rather than linear processes. The focus of waste in a circular economy is firstly prevention of waste and thereafter to treat the waste in an effective way. Regarding prevention of waste the design of the product is an important aspect to consider for example. In waste treatment remanufacturing, reuse and recycling are in focus. 

Åsa Stenmarck Tel. +46-10 788 65 66 E-mail: