The 4Rs of Waste Management
Recycling is a key activity in managing waste responsibly. But, when it’s combined with three other components to become the 4Rs - Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – it becomes a very effective way for each of us to maximise our resources and minimise waste.
Resource Recovery Gippsland encourages Gippslanders to rethink their approach to waste and resources by considering how the 4Rs can work at home, at school, at work.
Take time to think about:
- what you need and want
- what you buy and consume
- how you use and reuse
- how you deal with what you no longer need/want.
Your understanding of what’s possible directly influences your choices.
Your purchasing habits can help reduce waste from the outset:
- avoid unnecessary packaging
- plan, so that you buy only what’s needed
- choose quality over quantity.
Use your buying power to shop smart, shop sustainably.
Cut down on disposable items by substituting reusable products – start with reusable:
- water bottles
- shopping bags
- coffee cups.
Reuse is also about borrowing, repairing or repurposing – keeping things in use for as long as possible
Know what can and can’t be recycled in your local government area.
Visit your council website to find out what can go in your recycling bin.
Importantly, buy Australian products that are recycled or have recycled content.
The 4Rs approach helps us to consider how we maximise resources and minimise waste in a way that is broader and interconnected than just recycling.
It encourages us to think about the cycle of what we buy vs what we need, how we consume and utilise products, and what we do with the unwanted components.
It asks us to think about the ultimate sustainability goal of moving from a linear take-make-consume-dispose approach, to practices where resources have multiple lifecycles or are kept in use for as long as possible - find out more about a circular economy.