3Rs Waste Reduction Options
Source reduction, also called waste prevention, means consuming and throwing away less. Source reduction can be achieved by purchasing durable, long-lasting goods, as well as seeking products and packaging that represent a reduction in materials, energy consumption or toxicity.
Reusing involves the use of a product more than once without altering its form, either for the same or for a different purpose.
Recycling: Diverting products from disposal at the end of their useful lives, sorting, transporting and processing them to produce secondary sources of materials that are subsequently used in the production of new goods.
Closed-Loop Recycling is when materials are reprocessed and manufactured into the same or similar recyclable products, which in turn will re-enter the recycling loop upon the end of their useful life.
Open-Loop Recycling is when the waste product is reprocessed into a different product that cannot readily reenter the recycling loop.
Residuals Disposal Options
Recovery involves utilizing the embodied energy in waste materials to produce needed heat or electricity.
Recovery is represented by a variety of combustion processes that capture varied amounts of available energy. Recovery is considered an alternate disposal method for residuals after the 3Rs have been maximized.
In terms of priority, the hierarchy of the 3 Rs is as shown above: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recover is an alternate disposal technique that may fall higher on the waste management hierarchy than landfill, depending on the material and technology in question.