The Three R’s

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A lot of garbage/waste is generated across the country on a daily basis. Waste management is a major challenge for the authorities. Irresponsible disposal of garbage pollutes the environment and threatens the health and safety of citizens. Industrial/commercial/household waste is mostly disposed of in landfills or surface impoundments. This results in contamination of water bodies including groundwater, rivers and streams. In case we try to burn the garbage, hazardous gasses will be released into the air as well. The best way to tackle this problem is the Three R’s approach – reduce, reuse, recycle.


Reducing the amount you buy helps in managing waste to a great extent. Composting is a popular technique which helps in reducing the volume of kitchen waste to ‘zero waste’. It also helps us in recycling kitchen waste back into nature. It is always ideal to purchase goods that we need and in the right amount/quantity.

We are well aware that every individual contributes considerably to the waste management problem. Hence, waste management becomes easier if every household produces less waste. Have a clear cut idea of what you throw away and what goods you need at home. 

Some common measures for reducing waste are:

  • Always choose the items that you need, not the items that you want.
  • Always have an eye for high-quality items while shopping.
  • Use minimum packaging.
  • Promote local products.


Several items in our garbage can actually be reused.

Hence, we can actually reuse these items instead of dumping them.

Examples of Reuse

  • Items like plastic containers and pickle bottles can be used for storing other things.
  • Items such as cardboard boxes, wrapping papers, and chocolate boxes can also be reused.
  • Old clothes can be given away to needy people.
  • Prefer cloth bags over plastic bags while shopping. 
  • Purchase reusable products like rechargeable batteries.


You would have noticed that we sell old newspapers, bottles, tins, and magazines to ‘kabadiwalas’ who visit our homes. Do you know where these products go? They are mostly used as raw materials for manufacturing other items.

Recycling takes place as we manufacture those items,helping us reduce the load of garbage as well as preserve our natural resources. 

Materials such as glass, metals, cardboard, batteries, rubber and wooden furniture can easily be recycled. 

Hence, while discarding waste, ponder upon ways to recycle it rather than letting it go to the landfills.

Benefits of Recycling

  • Recycling pushes industrial growth. Manufacturing facilities are improving as industries continue to discover new methods for utilizing recycled materials.
  • ‘Recycling’ generates employment.
  • Recycling helps us in protecting the environment. Energy savings, lower taxes, and a cleaner environment are the benefits of recycling.

Major Recycling Collection Methods

  • Curbside collection becomes easier if recyclables are separated from the garbage. Clean recyclables shall be placed in special containers while garbage can go in standard containers. 
  • Setting up recycling drop-off centers is one of the simplest methods for collecting recyclable materials. 
  • We should also set up buy back centers which will purchase aluminum, newsprint, glass, batteries and other materials. 

In short, the “Triple Rs”, promote/encourage better waste management.

Check Your Knowledge

 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Energy savings, lower taxes, and a cleaner environment.

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