Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Managing your waste for the Circular Economy

Recycling and beyond

Landfilling materials, which are no longer fit for purpose or which we no longer want, means those materials are effectively lost from our society. We are not getting maximum value from them.

We need to rethink our approach to how goods are supplied, how they are used and what happens at the end of a product’s life. We need to keep materials, components and products in use (in a high value state) for as long as possible.

This way of thinking applies to how we manage our food wastes and other bio-based resources and wastes. This includes anaerobic digestion, composting or bio-refining. These enable the recirculation of nutrients, whilst avoiding harmful greenhouse gases.  Some of these technologies can be sued to produce energy. To further support the transition to a circular economy we need to increase the proportion of bio-based wastes used for the production of high value materials and chemicals.

VIDEO - Celtic Renewables: Biobutane

How this can benefit your business

  • reduces your cost of waste disposal to landfill
  • reduces your impact on the environment
  • increases your competitiveness.

What you can do

Find the highest value market for your unwanted materials, components and products and prioritise reuse, then repair, then remanufacturing before recycling:




  • Segregate your materials to get best value
  • Prevent contamination
  • Keep any electrical or electronic equipment dry



Further information

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to a circular economy. Their system diagram below illustrates the continuous flow of technical and biological materials through the ‘value circle’:

In this Guideline

What is the circular economy?

Using fewer resources

Managing your waste for the Circular Economy

Designing your products, and your business model to support the Circular Economy


Repairing goods



Protect and regenerate natural systems

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms