The 6 R’s of waste management are a hierarchy of actions that can be taken to reduce the amount of waste produced. There are 5 R’s to consider before Recycling:
The first and foremost step is to REFUSE anything you don’t really need. This means buying less stuff, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, and refusing single-use items like straws and utensils.
The second step is to REDUCE the amount of waste you produce by buying less stuff, by using less energy and water, and by making less trash.
The third step is to REUSE items whenever possible. This means bringing your own water bottle, coffee mug, utensils, and lunchbox.
The fourth step is to REPURPOSE items that you can’t reuse by finding new ways to use old items, such as turning old clothes into cleaning rags or quilts, and refinishing old furniture.
ROT is the fifth step in the 6Rs because it composts organic waste to create nutrient-rich soil. You can rot organic waste by putting it in a compost bin or taking it to a composting center.
The sixth and final step is to RECYCLE items that can’t be reused, repurposed or rotted. This includes paper, plastic, metal, and glass. You can also recycle items like batteries, electronics, clothing and furniture. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills and incinerators.
Here are some additional benefits of the 6Rs of waste management:
- Reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserves natural resources
- Saves money
- Creates jobs
- Improves air and water quality
- Protects wildlife
- Creates a healthier environment for everyone