What are the 5 steps of waste management?

1 November 2023by cleanoodle.com

Waste Hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Landfilling

The waste management approach in Israel, similar to that in developed nations, is founded on sustainable materials management (SMM) principles. SMM is a systematic strategy to efficiently use and reuse materials throughout their life cycles. This approach is structured around the waste hierarchy, which comprises five key stages: reducing waste at its source, reusing materials, recycling, energy recovery, and landfilling. The Ministry of Environmental Protection’s policy’s principal objective is to transform waste from a problem into a valuable resource.

1. Reduce Waste at the Source

Reducing waste at the source is the most straightforward and cost-effective means of diminishing the volume of waste deposited in Israel’s landfills. Reduction at the source encompasses any actions associated with the design, production, purchase, or usage of materials or products that can lead to a decrease in the initial waste generation and a reduction in the toxicity of that waste before it enters the waste management system.

Reduction at the source stands at the pinnacle of the waste treatment hierarchy since, from an environmental perspective, the most effective way to manage waste is to prevent its creation.

How can we diminish the quantity of waste generated?

  1. Avoid using disposable products.
  2. Exercise prudence and restraint as consumers.
  3. Opt for products with minimal packaging whenever possible.
  4. Repair and reuse products instead of discarding and purchasing new ones.
  5. Purchase second-hand products and clothing.
  6. Encourage manufacturers to produce more durable and less toxic items.
  7. The Plastic Bag Law has already curtailed unnecessary consumption, disposal, and, in numerous cases, littering millions of tons of plastic bags.

Challenges in Reducing Waste

Cost: The primary expenses associated with reduction at the source include research, data collection, waste system management, product design, enacting relevant legislation, education and awareness-raising efforts, and advocacy. These costs, however, are considerably lower than the expenses incurred in dealing with waste after it has been generated.

Difficulty in Quantifying Results: Defining and quantifying something that has yet to be produced presents challenges. Consequently, demonstrating the outcomes of reduction at the source is complicated. It is far simpler to illustrate the advantages of recycling 30 tons of plastic, which are tangible than to prevent the production of 30 tons of packaging materials.

Difficulty in Altering Attitudes and Behaviors: A reduction at the source system hinges on altering attitudes and behavioral patterns. This transformation is necessary both among citizens, who must reduce their purchases and consumption, and among decision-makers who can, for instance, enact legislation encouraging reduced consumption or prompting manufacturers to reduce packaging.

Multitude of Stakeholders: Reduction at the source necessitates the active participation of various stakeholders, including government bodies, manufacturers, institutions, businesses, and individual consumers.

2. Reuse

 Reuse entails the use of products multiple times for the same purpose. Reusing products effectively reduces the quantity of waste generated, ultimately decreasing the volume that ends up in landfills. Additionally, it offers an opportunity for cost savings.

   **Examples of Product Reuse:**

   – Refilling beverage bottles.

   – Purchasing, selling, or donating items through second-hand stores.

   – Borrowing books and other products from libraries.

3. Recycling

 What is Recycling?

Recycling is extracting materials from the waste stream and using them as raw materials to create new products—recycling yields numerous environmental benefits, preventing landfilling and enhancing resource efficiency.

The recycling process encompasses several stages:

   – At-source separation, starting at home, where waste is separated into various material streams.

   – Establishment of infrastructure by local authorities for separate collection.

   – Transportation to sporting facilities for further separation, emphasizing the importance of at-source separation.

   – Materials are sent to suitable factories for producing recycled raw materials.

   – Finally, recycled raw materials are utilized to craft new products.

Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Support for Recycling:

   The MoEP supports recycling in local authorities and businesses by:

   – Funding initiatives to promote at-source separation of household waste into different streams.

   – Encouraging extended producer responsibility systems in Israel.

   – Supporting the establishment of recycling infrastructure and raising awareness about recycling’s importance.

   – Financing municipal solid waste sorting facilities’ construction, upgrading, and operation.

   – Backing the construction or enhancement of recycling plants.

Recycling Methods

  Waste sorting processes are essential for creating homogenous and clean waste streams to achieve high-quality recycling results. Methods include:

   – Separation at source.

   – Extended producer responsibility.

Waste Sorting Facilities

   Waste sorting facilities complete the process initiated by at-source separation, categorizing waste into separate, homogenous streams. These materials are then directed to recycling plants or organic waste treatment facilities.

Recycling Plants

   Recycling plants transform separated and sorted waste into raw materials for new products. Various recycling plants exist, handling electronic waste, glass, plastic, tires, and construction waste.

Facilities for Organic Waste Treatment

   Instead of burying organic waste in landfills, the MoEP promotes treatment through:

   – Anaerobic digestion, generating renewable energy.

   – Composting, creating nutrient-rich soil amendments.

4. Energy Recovery

  Energy recovery, also known as waste-to-energy, involves generating electricity, heat, or fuel from non-recyclable waste materials.

  Types of Energy Recovery

   – Mass burn, where waste is incinerated at high temperatures.

   – Refuse-derived fuel (RDF), involving incineration of pre-sorted, high-calorie waste to produce fuel.

   – Gasification, converting organic materials into synthetic gas.

   – Pyrolysis, decomposing organic material at high temperatures.

5 Landfilling

   Landfilling is the least desirable waste treatment method in the waste hierarchy due to its high environmental costs. Nevertheless, it remains the primary waste disposal method in Israel. The Ministry of Environmental Protection strives to reduce waste sent to landfills and mitigate the environmental impacts of landfilling.


1 What are the 5R Principles of Waste Management?

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle – these principles contribute to environmental improvement. Refuse: Choose not to purchase or accept products that could harm you, your company, or the environment.

2 What are the 6 Processes within Waste Management?

In order of preference, the well-established waste management hierarchy includes prevention, minimization, recycling, reuse, biological treatment, incineration, and landfill disposal.

3 What are the Advantages of Waste Management?

Minimizing waste safeguards the environment and reduces disposal costs or expenses. Similarly, recycling and reusing produced waste benefit the environment by reducing the necessity for resource extraction and the potential for contamination.

4 What Are the Causes of Waste Generation?

The primary cause of waste generation is human activity. We generate more waste than we can effectively handle.

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