Waste Reduction

There are several ways individuals can begin reducing waste in their daily lives! 

Reduce and Reuse 

The best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place! That's why 'reduce' is listed first in the waste hierarchy followed by 'reuse'. 

By reducing and reusing, you can:

  • save energy from creating and sourcing raw materials
  • reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill
  • save money
  • extend the life of products and using them to their fullest extent
  • reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents pollution

Ways to Reduce & Reuse:

  • Buy secondhand/used. This extends the life of a products already in circulation and giving an item a new life. Clothing, books, housewares, furniture and so much more can all be purchased second-hand and are less expensive.
  • Maintain and repair. By taking good care of your items, they can last a lot longer and save you money. Sewing a rip in your shirt or repairing a broken phone screen can be easy fixes that extend the life of the item.
  • Repurpose. Instead of buying new dish rags, cut up an old t-shirt and use those as rags instead. Glass jars can become your new Tupperware containers. The options are endless! 
  • Buy reusable over single-use items. There are various items that can be reused instead of disposed of such as cups, utensils, and paper towels. All of these have cheap, simple alternatives that you may already have in your home. Bring your reusable water bottle/mug with you, have a set up utensils to avoid single-use ones and use rags and towels instead of buying paper towels.

Organizations that Accept Items for Reuse


Recycling can positively benefit your community and the environment! Instead of throwing materials away, recycling involves collecting and processing materials and making them into new products.

By recycling, you can:

  • reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills
  • conserve natural resources 
  • prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect raw materials
  • saves energy
  • helps create jobs locally and nationwide in the recycling and manufacturing industries

For more information on the recycling program in Orange County, check out the links below: 

What Goes In My Blue Recycling Cart?

Where Does My Recycling Go?

A-Z Recycle Guide


Composting is the recycling of natural ingredients that creates a rich soil amendment called compost! Compost can help your plants grow and returns nutrients back to the Earth.

By composting, you can minimize the amount of trash you're generating at home. You can compost fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, food scraps, yard trimmings, leaves, cardboard, and other natural materials. For more information on composting, visit our Composting Education page.