Reduce, Reuse...and Then Recycle!
To reduce waste, think outside the blue bin! Recycling gets a lot of attention, but we actually see it as the last step of waste reduction. There are many ways to prevent waste as well as other ways to recycle!
Check out our guide to local resources for reuse- to donate or sell clothing, bicycles, books and more!
Take a look at all the items our Recycling Drop-Off Center accepts and help keep these things out of the landfill!
While recycling is good, it's even better to reduce waste in the first place. From avoiding materials that aren't recyclable, or eliminating practices like excessive purchasing, to reusing resources whenever possible, there are a lot of simple ways to decrease our impact on the waste stream. Think of these strategies as "precycling"!
Before buying a product there are simple questions that can be considered, such as, "When I am finished with this, what will happen to it? Will it go off to a landfill or is it recyclable? Will I be able to reuse it somehow, or am I going to donate it to someone? How long will this item last? Is there a more durable alternative?" Knowing the answer to questions like these before shopping for a new product is a great step towards creating less waste later.
Here are some quick tips:
- Avoid individually wrapped/ single-serve items.
- Buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of packaged.
- Buy concentrates because they last longer and may have less packaging.
- Bring your own reusable bags- for things in the produce section too!
At the office-
- Make double sided copies when you have to print.
- Use a reusable coffee/travel mug.
- Use washable plates and utensils instead of disposable.
- Use digital rather than print files when possible.
- Use cloth napkins and reusable cleaning towels instead of paper products.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Learn to freecycle: give it away instead of throwing it away.
- Donate used toys, clothing and even appliances to charities and non-profit organizations.
- Borrow or rent items you only use occasionally or consider buying and sharing that equipment with friends or family.
Remember "reduce, reuse, then recycle!"
See the links below for helpful tips and more information.
- Share our "Precycling" flyer
- Visit the Maryland Dept. of the Environment's website: http://www.mde.state.md.us/recycling.
- See examples of resources available for trading, selling, donating or purchasing used goods.
- Visit the EPA website on waste: http://www.epa.gov/wastewise.
- See a fun, educational "reality TV" show of everyday families competing on a mission to reduce their waste.
- Kids' guide to "precycling".