Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, often called the 3Rs, refers to the hierarchy of waste management strategies. It is important to understand that these strategies are listed in the most desireable order:

1. ReduceBuy less and use less. This incorporates common sense ideas like turning off the lights, using rain barrels, taking shorter showers, composting organic wastes, and carpooling. Everyone has a role to play in reducing the size of their environmental footprint.

 

2. ReuseTry to find other uses for the item that you wish to throw away. Some ways to reuse include donating hand-me-down clothing and appliances to schools or local charities; selling them at garage sales; saving bread-bag ties and twist-ties for other bags; using refillable coffee mugs instead of styrofoam; and using plastic grocery bags for garbage bags or lunch bags.

 

3. RecycleWhen the item really cannot be reused, the next priority is to separate the materials that can be used to make new products. Many different materials can be processed into new materials, such as rubber (tires), metals, plastics, and even batteries!

 

Tip for Minimizing Your Waste:

  • Flatten boxes and bulky items.
  • Practice Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Examples:
    • Reduce: For bottled water, prefer large refillable bottles over small disposable bottles.
    • Reuse: When visiting a supermarket, bring with you reusable bags instead of requesting for disposable plastic bags.
    • Recycle: Aluminum cans can be recycled.

Tips for minimizing your waste flyer

> Download a Tips for Minimizing Your Waste flyer in PDF format

Related Links

Check out a few of the many Recycling Programs offered by VIWMA.

Aluminum Cans - Special Waste

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