Environmental Chemistry

Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As a nation, we are generating more garbage. We don’t know what to do with it.  Irresponsible disposal of this waste is polluting the environment and poses a public health risk. Present disposal methods threaten our health, safety, and environment, and pose additional indirect costs to society. Most industrial, commercial, and household waste is now disposing of in landfills or surface impoundments. Waste treated in this manner is contaminating groundwater, rivers, and streams. Burning of waste releases hazardous gases into the air. The solution to this problem is in the “ Three Rs ” approach—reduce, reuse, recycle.

three rs

Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Reducing the amount you buy is the most important of all the options to manage waste. Composting is a common technique to reduce the volume of kitchen waste to ‘zero waste.’ It is also an effective method through which kitchen waste can be recycled back into nature. The basic is to only purchase goods that we need and in the right amount.

What Can We Do?

Each person contributes to the waste management problem. If every household reduces its waste. This is a way to reduce the problem. You can begin with analyzing – what you throw away and what goods you need at home.

Among the main steps consumers can fallow to reduce waste are:

  1. Choosing items that you need, not want
  2. Shopping for high-quality items
  3. Using minimum packaging
  4. Buying local products


There are definite items in our garbage that can be reused. Reusing waste items means that instead of dumping them, we can reuse these items.

What Can We Do?

The following are some examples of reuse:

  • Items such as plastic containers and pickle bottles should be reused to store other things.
  • We can also reuse cardboard boxes, wrapping papers, and chocolate boxes.
  • We can give away old clothes to the needy people.
  • It is better to use cloth bags in place of plastic bags for shopping.
  • Buy such products which can be reused such as rechargeable batteries:


Often you may find persons (the Kabariwalas) who visit our home, and to whom we sell old newspapers, bottles, tins, magazines, etc. perhaps you have never thought where these products go. These products are used as raw materials for manufacturing other items.

In other words, recycling takes place in the manufacturing of these products. This is an important effort, as in this process, we not only reduce the load of garbage as well as conserve natural resources also.

Recycling of some common items such as glass, metals, paper, plastics, cardboard, batteries, cans made of steel and aluminum, rubber, wooden furniture easily possible.

So, discarding your waste, find ways to recycle it besides letting it go to landfills.

Benefits of Recycling

  • Recycling generates the industry. In order to utilize recycled materials, manufacturing facilities will develop to find uses for them. Thus we will increase a greater understanding of the whole process.
  • Recycling creates jobs: Recycling materials can generate jobs also.
  • Cost avoidance of recycling. It keeps natural resources and aids to protect the environment. Energy savings, lower taxes, and a cleaner environment are the actual “bottom lines” in favor of recycling

Main Recycling Collection Methods

  • The curbside collection needs homeowners to discrete recyclables from their garbage. Clean recyclables may require to be placed in special containers. While the garbage goes in standard containers. Both are retained at the curb for collection by separate trucks.
  • Drop-off centers are one of the simplest methods of collecting recyclable materials. People can drop off their used glass, paper metal, and plastic at a selected recycling drop-off site.
  • Buyback centers purchase aluminum and other, plastic, newsprint, metals, glass, and sometimes batteries and other materials.

The “Three Rs” (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) effort to encourage better waste management requires to be done in an effective manner

FAQ on Three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Q. What are some alternatives to recycling?

Ans: Conservation suggests another alternative to recycling.

  • Turn off all lights if it is not in use;
  • Use bulbs of lower wattage instead of high wattage;
  • Use natural sunlight in the day time;
  • Keep bulbs and fixtures maintained;
  • Focus light on your task.
  • Use fluorescent lights if possible.
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