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Wst 03 Operational waste

Number of credits available Minimum standards
1 Yes


To recognise and encourage the provision of dedicated storage facilities for a building’s operational-related recyclable waste streams, so that this waste is diverted from landfill or incineration.

Assessment Criteria

The following is required to demonstrate compliance for:

One credit

  1. There is dedicated space(s) to cater for the segregation and storage of operational recyclable waste volumes generated by the assessed building/unit, its occupant(s) and activities.
  2. The dedicated space(s) must be:
    1. Clearly labelled, to assist with segregation, storage and collection of the recyclable waste streams
    2. Accessible to building occupants / facilities operators for the deposit of materials and collections by waste management contractors
    3. Of a capacity appropriate to the building type, size, number of units (if relevant) and predicted volumes of waste that will arise from daily/weekly operational activities and occupancy rates.
  3. Where the consistent generation in volume of the appropriate operational waste streams is likely to exist, e.g. large amounts of packaging or compostable waste generated by the building’s use and operation, the following facilities are provided as part of its waste management strategy:
    1. Static waste compactor(s) or baler(s); situated in a service area or dedicated waste management space.
    2. Vessel(s) for composting suitable organic waste resulting from the building’s daily operation and use OR adequate space(s) for storing segregated food waste and compostable organic material prior to collection and delivery to an alternative composting facility.
    3. Where organic waste is to be stored/composted on site, a water outlet is provided adjacent to or within the facility for cleaning and hygiene purposes.

Additionally for healthcare buildings only (criterion 4.)

  1. The specified/installed operational waste facilities are compliant with HTM 07-01: Safe management of healthcare waste1HTM 07-01: Safe management of healthcare waste, Department of Health, 2011 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or SHTM 3 Guidance EWC Coding guide for Healthcare Wastes2SHTM 3 Guidance EWC Coding guide for Healthcare Wastes, Health Protection Scotland, 2007, Health Protection Scotland, 2007 (Scotland).

Additionally for pre-schools, schools & sixth form colleges only (criterion 5.)

  1. There is a school recycling policy and an outline of the procedures that are in operation or that will be in place when the building is complete. As a minimum, the policy should cover:
    1. Paper and magazines, cardboard, plastics, metals, printer & toner cartridges.
    2. Where composting facilities are provided, the policy must also cover the collection of the compost unless the compost can be used on site.

Additionally for multi-residential buildings with self contained dwellings / bedsits only (criteria 6 and 9 .)

  1. Each dwelling/bedsit has a provision of three internal storage containers, as follows:
    1. A minimum total capacity of 30 litres
    2. No individual container smaller than 7 litres
    3. All containers in a dedicated non obstructive position
    4. The storage containers for recycling are provided in addition to non-recyclable waste storage.

Additionally for multi-residential buildings with individual bedrooms and communal facilities only (criteria 7, 8 and 9)

  1. The above storage requirements (criterion 6.) for self contained dwellings/bedsits are met for every six bedrooms
  2. The recyclable storage is located in a dedicated non obstructive position in either:
    1. Communal kitchens or,
    2. Where there are no communal kitchens present, in a communal space such as communal lounges or utility areas.
  3. Home composting facilities and a home composting information leaflet is provided within the kitchen area or communal space for each self contained dwelling, bedsit or communal kitchen .

Compliance Notes





Determining if the dedicated space complies See criteria1 & 2

The design team demonstrates that the provision of waste management facilities for the assessed building is adequate given the building type, occupier (if known), operational function and likely waste streams and volumes to be generated.

The following information can be used as a default guide for determining the validity of the provision, where it is unclear what is justifiable for the building type/use:

  1. At least 2m2 per 1000m2 of net floor area for buildings < 5000m2
  2. A minimum of 10m2 for buildings 5000m2
  3. An additional 2m2 per 1000m2 of net floor area where catering is provided (with an additional minimum of 10m2 for buildings 5000m2).

Alternatively, sizes should be in accordance with those identified in the relevant section of the Metric Handbook, planning and design data, 20073Metric handbook – Planning and design data, Adler, Architectural Press, 3rd Ed., 2007.


Extensions to existing buildings Where there are facilities within the existing building, these can be used to assess compliance. The scope of these facilities must be adequate to cater for the total volume of predicted recyclable waste arising from the new and existing buildings.


Shell only

There are no additional or different criteria to those outlined above specific to shell-only assessments, except for the compactor/baler and composting facility requirements, where the following applies:

End user/occupier known

  1. As common criteria OR
  2. The end user/occupier commits to providing a dedicated space for a compactor/baler and/or composting vessel installation (or storage space for compostable material) including:
    1. A suitable concrete standing for a future installation
    2. A three phase power supply
    3. Good access for vehicle collections and manoeuvring

End user/occupier not known

  1. Criterion not applicable where the building design/type (and therefore end use) is unlikely to result in large packaging or compostable waste streams e.g. where there is no commercially sized catering area, retail and/or large commercial storage or production areas within the speculative building OR
  1. Facilities to be provided as detailed above for a known end user committing to provide the necessary facilities. This would be in instances where a compactor/baler and/or compost facilities may be appropriate given the building design/type and therefore end use.


Multiple building assessments and buildings that form part of a wider estate See criterion 2c

Where the assessment applies to one or more buildings/units that are part of a wider estate or campus, the design team can choose to demonstrate compliance through using dedicated centralised storage space and waste management facilities with the capacity to accommodate the recyclable waste material generated from all buildings and their activities.


Accessible See criterion 2b Typically ‘accessible’ is defined in BREEAM as ‘within 20m of a building entrance’. In some circumstances, depending on the size of the building, site restrictions or tenancy arrangements, it may not be possible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance. If, in the opinion of the BREEAM Assessor it is not feasible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance, then Assessor's judgement should be exercised to determine if the facility is deemed to be ‘accessible’ to the building occupants and vehicle collection.


Limited space or vehicle access for a compactor/baler See criterion 3 For developments that have limited space for static installations, compliance can be assessed on the basis of the provision of adequate space for a smaller portable compactor or baler.


Individual recycling bins See criterion 2a Individual recycling bins located at convenient locations throughout the building are necessary to maximise recycling rates. On their own, however, these are not sufficient to obtain this credit.


Internal storage areas Where the facilities are situated internally, vehicular gate heights/widths and manoeuvring and loading space must be sized correctly to ensure ease of access for vehicles collecting recyclable materials.


General waste The area for storage of recyclable materials must be provided in addition to areas and facilities provided for dealing with general waste and other waste management facilities, e.g. compactors, balers and composters.


School recycling policy & procedures See criterion 5 The person(s) providing this information may vary; it could typically be the head teacher/principal, school governors, premises manager, waste contractors or other relevant authorised body/individual.


Shopping centres & retail parks See criterion 2 For shopping centres and retail parks there must be adequate space to cater for each tenant and their potential recyclable waste volumes. Tenants that occupy a large proportion of the centre, i.e. ‘Flagship tenants’, must have their own dedicated compliant facilities. For smaller non-flagship tenant units, compliant central or common facilities on site or dedicated spaces for individual units will meet the assessment criteria for this BREEAM issue.


Home composting information leaflet (multi-residential buildings) See criteria 6,7,8 & 9

The leaflet must provide information on:

  • How composting works and why it is important
  • The materials that can be composted (e.g. raw vegetable peelings and fruit, shredded paper, teabags, etc.); and
  • Details of the operation and management plan for the communal composting scheme

Where a green/kitchen waste collection scheme is in operation, the information leaflet provided by the Local Authority is sufficient to meet the information leaflet criteria.


Multi-residential developments with CSH assessed dwellings See criteria 6 & 9

For buildings with self-contained dwellings also being assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), the following applies:

Where a minimum of two credits have been awarded for the CSH issue Was 1, compliance with criteria 6, 7 and 8 of BREEAM issue Wst 03 will also have been demonstrated for the purpose of a Multi-residential assessment, provided that all other areas (not covered by the CSH assessment) also meet the criteria.

Where the available credit for the CSH issue Was 3 has been awarded, compliance with criteria 3b, 3c and 9 of BREEAM issue Wst 03 will also have been demonstrated for the purpose of a Multi-residential assessment provided that all other areas (not covered by the CSH assessment) also meet the criteria.

In addition, where four credits have been achieved under the CSH issue Was 1, the criteria 1 & 2 under BREEAM issue Wst 03 will also have been demonstrated for the purpose of a Multi-residential assessment, provided that the recyclable storage capacity is sufficient for the whole building (not just the self contained dwellings).


Small industrial units See criterion 2 For an industrial building/development consisting of a number of smaller units, each 200m2 floor area, shared facilities that meet the above criteria for the building as a whole are sufficient to achieve this credit.


Multi-residential: Supported living facility Where it is not possible to locate the recycling bins within a communal area, which is accessible to residents, for safety reasons (e.g. where the residents have mental health problems and free access to these facilities would pose significant risk of self harm or harm to others) it is acceptable to locate them within a dedicated non-obtrusive position accessible to staff only but in close proximity to the areas where recyclable waste material is generated.

Schedule of Evidence

Ref Design stage
Post-construction stage

Design drawings and/or relevant section/clauses of the building specification or contract confirming provision and scope of dedicated facilities.

Project team meeting minutes / letter confirming likely building waste streams and indicative volumes.

As design stage

BREEAM Assessor’s site inspection report and photographic evidence confirming compliant installation.


Documentary evidence from the design team confirming compliance with the relevant Healthcare Technical Memorandum (e.g letter or relevant signed meeting minutes).

As design stage

The school’s recycling policy and a description of their waste management procedures OR

A written commitment from the school, or relevant authorising body, to develop and implement a recycling policy and appropriate operational procedures.

The school’s recycling policy and a description of their waste management procedures

As for criteria 1-3 AND where relevant

Evidence in line with the Design Stage evidence requirements of the CSH issue Was 1 and Was 3.


A copy of the Design Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH issue Was 1 and Was 3.

As for criteria 1-3 AND where relevant

Evidence in line with the Post Construction Stage evidence requirements of the CSH issue Was 1 and Was 3.


A copy of the Post Construction Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH issue Was 1 and Was 3.

Additional Information

Relevant definitions

Clinical Waste
Waste derived from medical practices and defined as bodily fluids and wastes, drugs and medical equipment; and other waste which, unless rendered safe, may prove hazardous or infectious to persons coming into contact with it.
Dedicated non-obstructive position
Ideally this would be in an easily accessible cupboard under the sink or any other cupboard in the kitchen, next to the storage or likely area for storing non-recyclable waste, where practical. Where a kitchen cupboard location is not possible the bins can be located near to the kitchen, in a utility room or connected garage for example.
Flagship or anchor tenant
The largest and primary tenant within a retail development, typically department store-type retailers.
Waste compactor or baler
A machine that is designed to compress waste streams in order to improve storage and transport efficiency

Checklists and Tables


Calculation procedures


Other information

Recyclable storage: The following footprint dimensions (informed by the Metric handbook, Planning and design data) can act as a guide when determining size and accessibility criteria for the recyclable storage space:

  1. Compactor dimensions: about the size of one car parking bay; 4.8 x 2.4m
  2. Skip: The footprint of an 8 and 12 cubic yard skip measures 3.4m x 1.8m, therefore allow a minimum of 2.0m width and 4.0m length or 8m2 area for the storage and access of such containers
  3. Wheeled bins: 360 litre = 0.86m x 0.62 / 660L= 1.2m x 0.7m / 1100L = 1.28m x 0.98m
  4. Roll-on-roll-off containers: allow a minimum of 6.1m x 2.4m.
  5. Vehicle access: The following are dimensions for lorry types that are typically used to collect waste. Therefore gate height/widths should not be smaller than these measurements:
    1. Dustcart: medium capacity; length = 7.4m Height = 4m width 3.1m
    2. Skip lorry: length = 7m Height = 3.35m width 3.1m

Consideration must also be given to any other types of vehicle requiring access to this area, e.g. lorries for roll on/off containers.