Preventing, Reducing and Re-using Waste
The Waste Management Pyramid endorses avoidance or prevention of waste as the most preferred waste management option. While in many circumstances it may be easier to recycle, we must learn to be conservative with our resources and avoid waste where possible. A typical example of putting the waste management pyramid into practice is to avoid purchasing products with excess packaging in the supermarket.
Sustainable Waste Management
Many consider recycling as the solution to the waste management problem. And while it is heavily promoted as the cure-all to that image of the laden and overflowing wheelie bin with a concrete block on top, there is no doubt that it will ease our landfill problems.
The 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
But to truly resolve our current waste management crisis, a combination of the 3R’s must be applied. Whether it is on the factory floor or in the kitchen, the mantra is to reduce, reuse and finally recycle if you can’t reduce. Recycling in isolation overrides the need to reduce consumption.
The 4 R’s – Realise, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In many ways we need to reconsider our consumer tendencies, resources are finite and recycling is not the total solution. We all must strive to reduce and re-use as much as possible, along with a concerted effort to recycle too. The individual who declares ‘but I recycle everything’ has probably missed the point that waste management is as much about sustainability as it is about conserving landfill space.