I’m sure by now most of you have heard the expression, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

While this is a great expression, recycling seems to get most of the attention. Recycling

is extremely important and new programs and efforts to increase recycling rates such as

single stream recycling are becoming even more prominent. However, the value of reuse

is often overlooked. In fact, reuse is probably more important than recycling.

Making new products uses a lot of energy and often requires raw materials to

be extracted from the earth and the product must be manufactured and transported. As

a result the reuse of items not only keeps them out of landfills or incinerator plants, but

reduces the need to make new items thereby conserving water, energy, petroleum or other

natural resources. While recycling helps reduce the need for raw materials and diverts

waste from landfills, the process of recycling is still energy intensive. Large amounts of

energy are required to transport the items to be recycled and then to melt, shred or grind

items down into the necessary form for them to be made into something new.

Reusing items not only cuts down the need for new items but reduces the energy

costs associated with the process of recycling. Additionally if someone’s unwanted items

are donated or sold locally, it not only helps out a neighbor but keeps the value of those

items in the community as opposed to sending that value outside of the community to

recycling businesses in other areas. While helping others in your community is great, it

doesn’t hurt that donating unwanted items can lead to tax benefits.

This is why at The Junk Recycler our top priority is helping our customers

and finding items a new home. Whether we’re donating furniture to a charity, giving

some pet carriers to an animal shelter or dropping some planting pots off to a local

garden center, we want to see your items reused. So here’s what you can do. As much

as possible, try to buy used items. You’d be surprised what you can find at some of

your local donation centers. Also try to buy reusable items as opposed to disposable

or recyclable (if you don’t have a reusable water bottle yet and are still buying plastic

bottled water, you seriously need to address this situation). If you have unwanted

items, think of ways you might be able to reuse or repurpose them. There are plenty of

repurposing ideas online. Donate items yourself or hire a company like us that will put in

the effort to donate, repurpose, recycle or at least properly dispose of your items. Every

bit counts!

Until next time,

The Junk Recycler