Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You can reduce the amount of waste you create in many ways, such as buying items in bulk with less packaging, and buying products whose life cycles create less waste.

You can reuse many items—whether it’s something small like plastic bags, boxes, and paper, or larger items. Some items can also be reused by others. You can donate your old, unwanted, or out-of-season clothes, furniture, games, electronics, and other items to charity organizations. You’ll feel good about helping the environment by preventing the creation of waste, while also helping those less fortunate. Or, you can sell your unwanted items to people from all over the world via the Internet or through local consignment shops. Keep in mind... one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Once waste has been created, you can’t reduce it. And, most likely, you’re not going to find someone who wants to reuse your worn out batteries or your outdated phone book. That leaves you one last option before sending waste to the landfill: recycling.

With a little instruction, you can quickly learn what can be recycled and where to take it. The easiest way to handle your recycling is to designate different bins or trash bags for the categories of recycling that pertain to you. The recycling categories are the following:

  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Hazardous
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Household
  • Garden
  • Construction

Some communities offer curbside recycling, or you can take the items to your nearest recycling center.

The following links are full of ideas for making reducing, reusing, and recycling a part of your “love the planet” lifestyle.

Earth 911

Describes all the types of materials that can be recycled and offers a recycling center search by zip code for any type of item to be recycled

Steel Recycling

Being a part of the steel industry, Capital Steel understands the huge impact steel recycling has on our economy and the environment. Not only does steel recycling help preserve the Earth's natural resources, it is valuable for individuals and businesses alike.

Mother Nature Network

Recycling tips, facts, links, and further reading

National Recycling Coalition

Builds partnerships between global business leaders and local governments to provide profitable and environmentally innovative solutions for reducing waste

Waste Management

Find a Waste Management disposal facility near you using the site directory, get information about services available to companies, and access forms to expedite industrial and hazardous waste disposal

Find a recycling center in your area and get tips and information about recycling


An organization working to build “zero waste communities” in partnership with individuals, schools, businesses, governments, and event organizers

The Green Guide to Recycling Appliances and Electronics

If you need to recycle old appliances and electronics, follow these green guidelines to dispose of them safely and properly

Electronic Device Recycling

Find the information you need to recycle your used electronic device

Asbestos Recycling

Asbestos, the natural mineral that is the leading risk factor for mesothelioma and other illnesses, has been used for hundreds of years. A way to recycle asbestos or to recycle the materials in or on which the asbestos is found could potentially save money and time, while also providing a safer way to get rid of the harmful mineral.

Keeping Our Waters Clean

Find out how you can help keep plastic out of our oceans

Reduce Waste

Tips from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on how you can reduce waste at home, at the office, at school, and in other aspects of your lifestyle


An organization that provides the service of keeping you from receiving unwanted junk mail and catalogs for five years, therefore preventing waste from being created in the first place


Buy and sell used items to and from people all over the world


When you donate clothing and household goods to, and shop at, Goodwill, you are funding job training, education, and career services for disadvantaged and disabled people

Salvation Army

Your donations of clothing and household items benefit the operation of Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers


ReDo is working to create a national reuse network and infrastructure; its efforts include education, training, and technical assistance to start and operate programs, from simple to complex

The Freecycle Network

A grassroots, nonprofit movement with more than 6 million members who are giving and getting items for free in their own towns, in order to reuse goods and keep them out of landfills

“Your True Nature is an eco-friendly publishing company that produces a large line of Advice from Nature products. We take nature’s advice to heart with environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Our products are all printed on recycled paper and we have planted over 60,000 new trees to replace all paper used in our company. Please visit Your True Nature at or have a tree planted for someone special with Tree Greetings, the eCard that plants a tree, at”