You’ve heard of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These three actions create a loop for managing resources and preventing waste. You may be most familiar with the third action, recycling, as a means to do your part for the environment, but that is only part of the equation.
Reducing your waste in the first place is a better way to put the lid on your trash and conserve valuable resources! The energy to gather raw materials and process them into feedstock for manufacturing is costly and labor-intensive. Making reuse a priority reduces the demand for energy needed to recycle and recreate new products. It also reduces the demand for new or virgin materials to produce goods. It is a critical step to keep valuable resources out of landfills.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality relies on local governments to implement waste prevention programs. As we all work to divert more waste from landfills, you can track Oregonians’ progress through DEQ’s annual Waste Generation Reports.
In 2009, DEQ reports that Oregonians generated 6.4 pounds of waste per capita – each day! Nearly 45% of this waste was recycled (recovered) statewide!
Resources for Waste Reduction, Prevention, and Recycling:
- Spring Clean-up Tips - How to properly dispose of unwanted materials
- Illegal Dumping - How to report illegal dumping activity and where to take unwanted items
- The Story of Stuff - a 20-minute video on production and consumption patterns.
- Fix it-Don't Nix it - a 20-minute audio file about reuse/repair for today's material economy.