Environmental Business and Energy Information Services
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
- Waste reduction is achieved through Reduction, Reusing, and Recycling - the 3 R's of waste management.
Every individual generates tons of waste over the course of a short period. The wrappings of the food we eat, our disposable cups and plates, tissue papers/toiletries, old clothes, shoes and wristwatches, household appliances etc. All these materials would have to be collected and disposed off in the cities that we live with the City using up a lot of energy for collection, transportation and the eventually disposal of these items. the widely used disposal method is landfilling.
The materials are collected from the generation points and transported to landfill locations where the wastes are separated, processed (including bailing) and landfilled according the each waste stream (type of waste).
These activities use up a lot of energy which releases tremendous amount of emissions to the atmosphere contributing to the damage of the planet Earth.
There are several things that we can do on individual basis to reduce the amount of waste generated individually and reduce the corporately generated waste volume. This will result in less amount of energy needed to disposal our wastes - good for our pockets and good for the environment.
Waste reduction could be achieved through what has been termed the 3R's of waste management - Reduction, Reusing, and Recycling.
Reduction controls waste generation from the source of generation. We want to make sure that we minimize the amount of wastes that we are generating right from home and from our other daily living practices.
Reusing ensures that things we bought or acquired for a particular purpose but are no longer required for that purpose are put to some other uses that they may be useful for. This include passing on the things we no longer need but are still in good form to others.
Recycling requires changing the form of an item we have used for a purpose, but are no longer required for the same purpose for which they were purchased (and cannot be reused or no one wants them in their current form), into a different form that is useful for other purposes. First consider reusing. If it cannot be reused consider recycling. If it cannot be recycled then consider throwing it into garbage.
Waste Reduction Tips:
Some simple waste reduction actions that could be taken by every individual are listed below:
Buy products that come with less packaging or no packaging at all. Fresh foods do not come with wrappings, so if you eat fresh foods you will be reducing wastes. Avoid individually wrapped items such as cheese slices, etc.
Buy only what you need to reduce the amount of stuffs you throw away. Resist buying stuffs on sale just because they are on sale. Buy them only if you need them.
Buy in bulk and take your own plastic bags to the store rather than buying new plastic bags from the store
Buy durable materials that will last a life time (which may be more expensive) rather than cheap ones that will need to be garbaged within days and be replaced with another cheap one - e.g. buy quality razors rather than the disposable ones.
For children/young ones, buy durable metal metal/wood toys rather than plastic toys that will damaged quickly.
Avoid buy disposables generally if possible - disposable cameras, disposable plates, spoons, forks, knifes, cups will only make the landfills to fill up quickly. Use your own mug rather than disposable cup from coffee shops, Avoid bottled water, buy water filter, fill your bottle with water from the filter as need be.
Waste Reusing Tips:
Some simple waste reusing actions that could be taken by every individual are as follows:
Think of reusing a used product first before throwing it into the garbage. For example, try growing organic vegetables in containers or window boxes that you would have otherwise throw into a garbage can;
Consider passing on unused items that could still be useful to someone else. Your clothes can be passed on to your siblings, relatives or even your children as they grow. In a family clothes or shoes etc could be passed on from one child to the next and so on ;
No relatives or children to pass on your items to, consider sending them to charity organizations or stores;
You can also consider a garage or car boot sale to dispose off your no-longer-required items to others that would need them.
Buy reusable/rechargeable products when available - e.g. rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.
Waste Recycling Tips
Some simple waste recycling actions that could be taken by every individual are as follows:
Participate in community recycling process: Recycle your drink and other cans and bottles (you get some money for doing this in some communities), your papers wrappings.
Have a garage sale to help recycle your unwanted items. Someone's trash is another's treasure.
Where possible, donate electronic equipment to specific recycling groups.
Buy recycled products when available, that includes paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, tissue, school/office supplies and clothing.