Learn not only how to recycle, but how to reduce and reuse.
Recycling is the process of separating, collecting, processing, marketing, and reusing materials that would have otherwise been thrown away. When a product has been recycled and reused as a new product, the usage loop has been closed. For example, glass is 100% recyclable and can be used over and over again without any loss of quality.
What's In Our Trash?
Waste disposal is a critical issue for all communities, as there is no easy way to get rid of garbage other than by reducing the amount of waste generated. In the United States, each person generates about 4.4 pounds of waste per day. That's enough garbage to fill a convoy of trash trucks halfway to the moon each year!
Sort through your trash! It's the best way to discover where you can reduce waste. Is there anything reusable or repairable? Can you reduce the amount of disposable products you use?
Next time you purchase goods and products look for the three R's.
What are the Three R's?
Reduce - your first line of action for waste management
- When choosing between similar products, select the one with the least amount of packaging and ask yourself if it can be recycled or reused
- Avoid the disposable versions of razors, pens, batteries, plates, cups, napkins, etc
- Reduce junk mail by asking that your name and address be removed from mailing lists by sending a written request to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Reuse - give it a second chance!
- Reuse or bring your own shopping bags
- Carry food in reusable containers rather than plastic food bags
- Leave grass clippings and leaves on your lawn or compost them
- Invest in cloth napkins for daily use and reusable wiping cloths, towels, and plates
- Donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothing, and toys. This is the best way to give goods a second life
Recycling - close the loop
This term is used to describe the last and most important step in the recycling process. It refers to the point when a consumer buys a recycled product after it has been put into a recycling program and processed into a new item.
- Choose recyclable containers when purchasing refreshments; avoid foam cups with plastic lids and straws
- Support recycling markets by buying and using products made from recycled materials
- When shopping, look for the recyclable sign at the bottom of products