Waste, and how we choose to handle it, greatly affects our environment, our quality of life, and our country’s future.
When you reduce the amount of waste you generate, the landfill doesn’t fill as quickly less new products have to be made. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy – raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated then transported to wherever it will be sold. Learn more facts on why you should reduce, reuse and recycle.
Tips to Reduce Waste:
- Only buy what you need and use all of what you buy.
- Precycle. Purchase products in packaging that can be reused or recycled.
- Use reusable bags. Recycle used plastic bags at a nearby grocery store.
- If disposable dinnerware is necessary, purchase recyclable or biodegradable products.
- No Styrofoam! It is not recyclable and does not breakdown in the landfill.
- Buy in “bulk”. Products with less packaging means less raw material used.
- Avoid single-serve containers. Buy beverages in large recyclable bottles and pour into reusable containers.
- Bring your own utensils and cup to work instead of using disposable items.
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It’s safe, cheaper and tastes great!
- Say NO to junk mail. Ask to be removed from mailing lists for unwanted catalogs.
- Go paperless. Most information can be obtained (and paid for) online.
- Start a garden. If you grow it, it does not have to be processed, packaged, or transported.
- Compost. Transform food wastes into rich earth-like material that can be added to a garden to help plants grow.
Reusing gives old products new life with little or no energy used for repurposing. Recycling requires less energy than making new products; however, it still requires substantial energy. Learn more facts on why you should reduce, reuse and recycle.
Ideas on How to Reuse:
- Buy and sell used. Thrift stores and online apps are increasingly popular for used furniture, toys, appliances, etc.
- Donate unwanted items to thrift stores, churches and schools.
- Borrow, rent or share items used infrequently i.e. party decor, tools, etc.
- Refurbish or repurpose furniture. Be sure to properly dispose of leftover paint and other chemicals.
- Check for Free Re-Usable Products including paint, fertilizers, cleaning products and more.
- Get creative! You can search online for how-to’s on almost anything. Pinterest is full of ideas!
- If it’s broke, fix it… or take it to someone who can.
- Use reusable over disposable whenever possible – dishes, bags, razors.
Recycling creates a closed-loop system where unwanted products are returned back to manufacturers for use in new products. Much more can be recycled curbside and at the City’s Recycling Center than what is being recycled! Learn more facts on why you should reduce, reuse and recycle.
Tips for Recycling:
- Remove food, sauces and juices from recyclables. Rinse aluminum, plastic and glass. Helps prevent odors and less likely to attract bugs.
- Save space – crush cans and plastic bottles and flatten boxes. Do not break glass as it jams equipment.
- Detach unlike materials. Remove metal lids from glass jars, liners from cereal boxes, foil from yogurt tubs, etc. Although recyclable, facility equipment cannot properly separate the materials, therefore they are considered contaminated and are taken to the landfill. Here’s an inside look at the sorting process.
- Recycle it, if it’s recyclable. If you aren’t sure, check the items accepted curbside and at the recycling center or send an email to Is it Recyclable.
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