What is the Waste Management Hierarchy?

It’s time to think beyond ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’

Far too often, the sides of trails are littered with old TVs, scrap metal and more. Typically, most items found can be recycled free of charge.

Far too often, the sides of trails are littered with old TVs, scrap metal and more. Typically, most items found can be recycled free of charge.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. This is the most common waste management hierarchy that comes to mind.

The waste management hierarchy that the ACRD has adopted is a bit broader and encompasses the following themes:

  • Rethink
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Landfill
  • Illegal dumping/burning

Rethink: This is at the very top as it challenges us to completely rethink how we interact with the world. How much waste do you produce? It’s important to look at the broader picture and assess the impact you have as an individual and where opportunities exist to make changes in your life. The power of where you decide to spend your hard-earned dollars counts.

Reduce: This looks at general consumption. Do you really need that item? How much packaging does it contain? Is it possible to find the same item with less packaging? Often times, trips to the store can end with you filling up your basket with really unnecessary items (bought on a whim) that last a week and are then discarded.

Reuse: How many times can you reuse an item before it truly is at the end of its life? Is it possible to repair or fix it? Check out online tutorials to see if you can repair. Can you create art or a game out of the item? Those old sheets and towels may find new life as rags or are welcomed at animal shelters. The possibilities are endless!

Recycle: This is fourth on the hierarchy. Just because you recycle does not get you off the hook for assessing your purchasing habits in the first place. If you choose not to recycle, why not? Do you know if an item can be recycled? Existing tools can help you figure out how to properly dispose of an item and where it can be recycled. Download the free “ACRD COLLECTS” app or phone the Recycle BC hotline at 1-800-667-4321.

Landfill: If you’ve really exhausted all options and it truly is the end of life for your article, by all means dispose of it correctly at your local landfill as the bottom of the waste hierarchy is the worst….

What is the Waste Management Hierarchy?

Illegal dumping/burning: Dumping of any sort is illegal and can cause irreparable amounts of harm. Far too often, the sides of trails are littered with old TVs, scrap metal, carpets, freezer remnants still in Ziploc bags. Typically, most of the items found can be recycled free of charge. Burning garbage is no solution either, as toxic chemicals can be released into the atmosphere by burning hydrocarbons and can cause health implications for all, especially those who are compromised with respiratory issues.

When out and about, keep asking yourself, do I need this? Is it possible to find this with less packaging? What are my options? If everyone kept these questions on the forefront of their mind, collectively it will have an impact.

For more information on local recycling services visit acrd.bc.ca/recycling or check out the Facebook page. To download the free ACRD Recycling and Waste Wizard app go to your mobile app store and search for “ACRD COLLECTS.”

EnvironmentGreen LivingRecycling

Just Posted

Josie Osborne was sworn into the Legislature virtually on Nov. 24. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne named minister of municipal affairs

The position was previously held by Selina Robinson, who is the province’s new finance minister

Rori Denness throws a javelin during BC Summer Games in 2016. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Alberni ponders bidding for 2026 B.C. Summer Games

Port Alberni last hosted the BC Winter Games in 2004

Victoria artisan Tina Neurauter, right, used to shop at Pot Luck Ceramics with her daughter from Port Alberni. Now Neurauter is selling her handmade soaps and bath products at Bibi J’s, a new enterprise in the former Pot Luck Ceramics building on Gertrude Street in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Former Pot Luck Ceramics location reimagined as Bibi J’s

Owner Helma Swinkels revives social enterprise with new name, vision

The Rollin Art Centre’s Mistletoe Market begins on Dec. 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre prepares for Mistletoe Market

Artisans and crafters are still needed for annual Christmas craft fair

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read