Reduce and Reuse

The simplest way to have less waste going to the landfill is to not create it in the first place. Reducing and reusing are the most effective to ways to divert waste and participate in a circular economy.

Reduce is the 1st "R" of the 5R Pollution Prevention Hierarchy and should always be considered first when looking for opportunities to limit waste. Reducing means we avoid purchasing or creating what we don't need. This could be by simply buying less or buying quality, long-lived and/or repairable products.

Reuse is the 2nd "R" of the 5R pollution prevention hierarchy and should be considered after we have tried to reduce, but before recycling. Reuse refers to using materials and products again. This could be through giving items a new life or a new home.

Tips to start reducing and reusing:

Use what you have, borrow what you don't

  • Make your own cleaning products using common household ingredients. This eliminates excess packaging, is less harmful to the environment and can save you money. Try these recipes for a greener way to clean.
  • Repair items when possible instead of throwing them away. Ask a handy friend for help or attend a Repair Café.
  • Reuse rather than dispose. Newspapers can be used as gift wrap or to line your compost bin. Glass jars can be used for storage.
  • Rent and borrow items you rarely use (suits, tools, decorations etc.).

Make available to others what you no longer need

  • Post items that are in good condition in a local buy and sell group.
  • Donate reusable items to charity, remember to 'donate responsibly' by contacting organizations first to find out what they accept. Learn more >>
  • Plan a clothing swap with friends or host a yard sale.

Exercise your power as a consumer

  • Think about your purchases. Do you need it? Can you buy it with less packaging? Consider buying local, second hand or items made from recycled materials.
  • Purchase products that are made to last. That way you won’t have to replace them as frequently. Think quality over quantity.

Buy what you need, use what you buy

  • Reduce food waste by making a meal plan and buying only what you know you will use. More tips and recipes at Love Food Hate Waste Canada.
  • Feed the land, not the landfill! By participating in green bin programs you help create a valuable resource.

Avoid single-use items when you can

  • Fill a reusable water bottle at home to take with you while you're on the go. Many locations offer water fountains with spouts for refilling bottles.
  • Pack your own lunch for school or work. Use beeswax wraps and reusable containers.
  • Keep a reusable straw (or forgo the straw altogether) and a set of reusable cutlery in your bag for your takeout meals.
  • Avoid items that come in single serving packages such as granola bars or coffee pods. Buy items in larger bulk or make your own.
  • Bring your reusable grocery and produce bags when shopping. To further reduce single-use plastics buy products directly from local farmers market.
  • Learn about reuse options available for diapers

What is the CRD doing to reduce and reuse?

The CRD’s approach to waste management is based upon the 5R hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle, resource recovery and residual management. To learn more about what the CRD is doing to divert waste have a look at our annual reports.

Organizations to help you reduce and reuse:

Can't reduce or reuse? Recycle!

Look up items on for recycling options. 

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