Prevention is key!

While recycling is great, reducing your consumption (or waste prevention) is even better!  Waste prevention is the most environmentally preferable means to reduce waste entering our landfills.  The best way to prevent waste is to make purchases with REDUCE and REUSE in mind.

REDUCE
  • Purchase items with minimal packaging, such as purchasing food items in bulk rather than individually packaged.
  • Stop unwanted junk mail by following the simple steps.
  • Think twice before printing, and print on both sides of the paper whenever possible.
  • Patronize thrift shops, secondhand stores, or even antique stores instead of always buying new.

Another way to prevent waste is through reuse!

REUSE
  • Swap out your single-use items for reusable items to reduce your waste. For example, rechargeable batteries, cloth napkins instead of paper, cloth rags and towels instead of paper towels, plastic food storage containers instead of plastic baggies, reusable water bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles, and reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags.  Best of all, reusing items often saves you money as well as keeping materials out of landfills!
  • Don’t buy fertilizer every year for your garden, reuse your food/yard waste by creating your own compost. Learn more about making your own compost here.
  • Donate your gently used items to thrift shops and local charities so they can be reused by somebody else.
  • Drop-off your used motor oil and oil filters at one of the Certified Collection Centers listed here, so the oil can be re-refined and reused over and over again.

Remember, your purchases matter and prevention is key!  Think about how you can reduce and reuse items before buying them, and opt for items that can be used again and again instead of single-use items.  Help us keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills.

To learn more about waste prevention, check out the following resources:
www.storyofstuff.org/
www.calrecycle.ca.gov/reducewaste/define.htm
www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise/wrr/prevent.htm



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