Although a vast majority of Americans support and participate in recycling programs, not enough concentrate on reducing solid waste at its source.

How to Reduce Waste on Campus:

  • Use both sides of paper prior to recycling it.
  • Share magazines and newspapers with colleagues and friends.
  • Refuse a plastic bag when purchasing one item.
  • Purchase items with the least amount of packaging possible.
  • Take a washable mug instead of using disposables.
  • When bringing a lunch, use washable containers instead of disposables.
  • Take and use what you need, not more.
  • There are many more. It is imperative that we think in terms of not generating solid waste in the first place so we avoid having to recycle or dispose of it.

Why Should We Reduce Our Trash Volume?

For those not interested in the environmental advantages, economic factors are important also. The frequency that many of our trash bins are emptied has lessened from 5 to 4 each week. Less trash bin pulls equate to less trash disposal cost that could eventually amount to a significant savings. In a time when budgets are tight, cost savings is always vital.

However, most Americans are concerned about the positive environmental aspects of reducing solid waste. Reducing, whether through recycling or other minimization techniques, results in saving landfill space, conserving natural resources, saving energy, and preventing more pollution.

Landfills, where most of our trash is deposited, have environmental risks. They include the possibility of serious groundwater and even surface water contamination, the production of methane gas from the organic waste deposited, odor and unsightliness, the destruction of infrastructure due to the heavy vehicles, and the risk of a major “trash slide”. Methane is explosive and a harmful greenhouse gas.