The 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

We cannot stop waste production entirely, but everyone can make a significant contribution. Think before you bin! It saves energy and natural resources, helps to reduce pollution and reduces the need for landfill.  Most items we use can be recycled. 

The 'Reduce', 'Reuse' and 'Recycle' elements are referred to as the '3 R's'


Waste reduction and waste prevention is all about reducing waste at the source. In terms of waste management, it is always the best option.

Waste is often due to the inefficient use of resources or bad planning. For example, buying food we don’t need on impulse or because there’s a special offer and then wasting it.


Reuse means using a product more than once, either for the same purpose (for example returnable glass milk bottles) or for a different purpose (such as old jam jars for food storage). Repairing products, selling them on or donating them to charity/community groups is also reusing!

It is preferable to recycling because the item does not need to be re-processed before it can be used again which saves both money and reduces the environmental impact.


Recycling is a way to manage waste materials once they have been generated if they can’t be reused. It prevents waste from being sent to landfill and makes waste into new goods or products.

Effective recycling requires us to separate waste according to different materials so that they can be recycled efficiently.  This can involve turning the old material into a new version of the same thing or into something completely different. For example, used glass bottles can be recycled into new bottles or they can be recycled road materials for use in construction projects.

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