The 4 R’s of Recycling

Basic Classroom Instruction

Every LGU should remember that the success of their Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP) including the use of Landfill depends on the successful implementation of the 4 Rs.

From Stony Brook University Website. Watch the 4 R’s at Stony Brook University video on-line!


The first choice in the 4 R’s hierarchy of integrative resource/waste management.Waste reduction means that less garbage or recyclables are produced in the first place. It means reducing the volume and toxicity of wastes each of us makes in the course of daily life. And, it means that by using less first, we help to conserve valuable resources like water and energy.


The second choice in the hierarchy of the 4 R’s of integrative resource/waste management.Reduce has been mentioned as the first and most obvious choice to a greener and cleaner environment. Recycling is probably the most known and most popular, but it isn’t always the best choice. Reuse should be the second choice whenever possible.Whenever feasible, it is wise to purchase products that have long shelf lives. That they are truly durable before we choose to discard them or cycle them out so someone else may continue to gain benefit of their function prior to it being recycled or disposed. An example of reuse that goes on daily is the University’s Property Control Surplus Property program, which allows the campus community to reuse desks, chairs, shelving, and other furniture equipment at no cost.


The third choice in the 4 R’s hierarchy of integrated resource/waste management.What is recycling? It is a process whereby a material (i.e. soda bottle, etc.) has outlived it’s useful life and has been collected, separated, re-manufactured, and purchased as a new product only to continue the cycle again. Recycling conserves resources by keeping them in circulation, reducing the depletion of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels and mineral ores used to manufacture products from virgin materials.


Fourth in the 4 R’s hierarchy of integrated resource/waste management.This category, while being listed as fourth is probably the most important of the strategies inherent in the 4 R’s circle. Over the past ten years or so, with landfill closures and moratoriums in place on building new waste incinerators, there is the need for minimizing waste generation and creating less pollution.At Stony Brook University, we are making positive strides to minimize waste generation, reuse items such as office furniture and supplies, and to continue the growth of recycling and buying products with recycled content. The University is also making efforts to strengthen and refine its ability to generate electricity on campus. We are also taking steps whereby we will eventually transition our fleet from using conventional fuels such as diesel and gas to that of compressed natural gas (CNG)

Addendum by Earthniversity Team:
In my practice as an AusAID Facilitator for Planning and Development Component under the PRMDP-AusAID of an LGU in the past years, we described the 4th R as Rot or Composting. The City of Bacolod, during my term as a city employee, had a Composting Facility at Circumferential Road leading to ABKASA. Every Barangay have been trained on the process of Composting and of constructing their own composting facility. One Barangay that stood out was Barangay Handuman.

The MRF or Materials Recovery Facility is the landing field of recyclable materials like bottles, plastics and others in the villages. Barangay 7 stood out in this practice.

The issue on Sustainable Development always comes in when thinking about the capacity of the local officials to sustain the programs or projects even if these were started by the previous administrations. Not sustaining these programs and projects are deterrents to successful Solid Waste Management Program of any Local Government Units like my most beloved City, Bacolod.

Perhaps locals should look at the Success Stories or the Best Practices performed by other LGUs like Tagaytay City, Puerto Princesa City, among others.

There is still time and the best TIME to continue and improve the practices is NOW.

Reference: Stony Brook University Website
New York

2 thoughts on “The 4 R’s of Recycling

  1. I recently heard of the five R’s. They included “rot,” as you mentioned, and “refuse,” as in, “say no to all the university/corporate freebies, bags, other offerings you’ll never really use.” I do like “rethink.” This is a good blog, thanks for the good thoughts!

    • Tina Casagrand thanks for the visit. You are right, 5 Rs…you are welcome I hope to read one of your blogs after this…have a nice blogging days ahead.

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