MEASURE FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The internationally recognised measure for sustainability in the field of waste processing is the five-step waste hierarchy. It defines an order of priorities, with the more environmentally-friendly options at the top.
PREVENTION: preventing waste, with the emphasis on a more efficient and less environmentally harmful use and consumption of materials via modified production and consumption patterns.
REUSE: using products and materials again in the waste stage for the same purpose or a similar purpose
to that for which they were originally intended.
RECYCLING: the processing of waste materials into raw materials, to be used again for the production of new products.
RECOVERY: priority is given to the incineration of waste with energy recovery.
DISPOSAL: landfilling may only be considered as a final option.