• Recycle 417 Team

The Seven Rs of Responsible Recycling

Updated: Feb 22, 2019


First, it was just Recycle. Then it was Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And now? It’s the 7 Rs!


Rethink: “How do I use things?” or “Do I need it?”

  • Buy items in bulk, like spices, whenever possible. This allows you to select the amount you want and reduce packaging. Some stores will even allow you to bring your own container.

  • Share items. You can create a sharing system with friends or family, or create a ‘sharing’ space within your community library or recreational center.


Reuse: Commit to reusable products and forego single-use items.

  • Let go of plastic water bottles, go with reusable containers.

  • Let go of plastic containers, re-use glass jars for left-overs.

  • Let thrift stores give your personal items a second life.


Refuse: Avoid things like plastic bags and excessive packaging.

  • Carry items by hand or bring a reusable bag or box.

  • Buy in bulk or select items with reduced packaging.


Reduce: “What can I use less of?”

  • Paper towels: either select-a-size or use cloth napkins.

  • Household or beauty products: sometimes DIY products work just as well, which often reduces the number of containers discarded.


Repurpose: Find something that can have new life elsewhere in your home.

  • Use an old ladder or chair as a garden prop; an old metal bucket as a flower pot; the possibilities are endless!

  • Get crafty!


Recycle: Many items can be recycled.

  • Check with your local recycler to see what items are accepted.

  • Make sure materials are clean and sorted properly.


Recruit: Get family and friends to follow these guidelines with you.


Spread the word and set the example! There are many ways to reduce waste going into landfills. Consider adding a few of these to your recycling routine.

Ozarks Headwaters Recycling and Materials Management District