Solid Waste

Prevent Solid Waste from Entering the Waste Stream

  • Source reduction involves altering the design, manufacture, or use of products and materials to reduce the amount and toxicity of what gets thrown away
  • Recycling diverts items, such as paper, glass, plastic, and metals from the waste stream (these materials are sorted, collected and processed and then manufactured, sold and bought as new products)
  • Composting decomposes organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, with microorganisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) a humus-like substance

Tips for Reducing Solid Waste


  • Adopt practices that reduce waste toxicity
  • Reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging


  • Borrow, rent or share items used infrequently
  • Consider reusable products
  • Maintain and repair durable products
  • Reuse bags, containers and other items
  • Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them out


  • Choose recyclable products and containers and recycle them
  • Compost yard trimmings and some food scraps
  • Select products made from recycled materials


  • Educate others on source reduction and recycling practices. Make your preferences known to manufacturers, merchants, and community leaders.
  • Be creative and find new ways to reduce waste quantity and toxicity.