California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)


Waste Prevention World

This site focuses on the first component of the waste management hierarchy—waste prevention—and finding creative ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce both at home and on the job.

The Waste Management Hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If given the choice, the best option is to prevent or reduce the amount of waste that is generated in the first place. While recycling is an important component of the overall waste management hierarchy, it is still the least preferred option because you first have to generate the waste in order to recycle it. Reuse falls in the middle in that if an item can be reused, either by the original user or by someone else before it is disposed to the trash or recycled, then the waste of that item is prevented or at least delayed.

Learn more about the important role that reuse and recycling play in the success of any home or job site waste prevention program, and explore the other CalRecycle waste prevention programs.

Last updated: September 20, 2011
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