Reuse simply means using objects or materials again enabling continual benefits prior to recycling or Waste Disposal. After waste reduction, reusing existing material resources is the next best way to control waste production. In general, reuse is sensible if an object or substance may be used again without requiring excessive energy and materials intensive processing.

Is there something you no longer want? Give it to someone who could use it. Several organizations and businesses collect items they repair and then give away or sell.

Simple Tips

  • Have a garage sale. Invite neighbors to bring along their vintage items; make it a community event and get ready to barter the day away! Give proceeds to your favorite charity or buy tree saplings to plant in your yard.
  • Bring your old clothes to a waste sorting and recovery centre or a second-hand clothing store.
  • Share your magazines and books with friends or bring them to the doctor’s or dentist’s offices, or to the hospital or seniors’ homes.
  • Get old furniture or electronic equipment repaired instead of throwing it away.
  • Store food in reusable containers rather than plastic wrap or disposable plastic bags. Old file cabinets can store gloves, hats, hand tools, pruning tools, seeds, string, etc.
  • Plastic miniblinds can become plant markers.
  • Used tires, shoes, luggage, drawers, or buckets make whimsical planters – decorated, painted, or left natural.
  • Railroad ties and used lumber can be used to create inexpensive raised beds.
  • Reuse old pallets to build your own backyard compost bins.
  • Worn cups and plates, glued or wired together or to a fence, make handy and colorful feeders for your backyard wildlife.
  • Make scouring pads from onion and potato mesh bags.
  • Paper or plastic bags can be reused to line trash cans instead of buying trash
    bags or plastic liners.
  • Return clothes hangers to the cleaners.
  • Reuse bread bags, glass jars, grocery bags, plastic tubs, produce bags, etc. to store food and other items.
  • Brown paper grocery bags are sturdy enough for wrapping packages to be mailed.
  • Clean messes or spills with reusable dishcloths or rags, rather than disposable paper towels.
  • Envelopes can be reused by placing labels over typed or written areas.
  • Handkerchiefs reduce paper tissue waste and are softer on your skin.>
  • Reuse holiday and greeting cards by cutting off the back, then writing and posting the card covers as postcards; or by using the card covers as gift tags.
  • Share catalog and magazine subscriptions.
  • Use both sides of a sheet of paper (particularly for draft documents).
  • Old, used, or worn out textiles (e.g., bandanas, clothes, curtains/drapes, scarves, sheets, washcloths, etc.) can be reused to cover buttons, to create or cover pillows, to make patches for decorations or hiding holes in clothing and linens, or to make quilts.
  • Rechargeable batteries can reduce household hazardous waste.