Recycling really helps to reduce what ends up in landfills. A better alternative to recycling is not to create waste in the first place. Perhaps you have heard of the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle. By changing your purchasing habits, it is possible to significantly reduce your waste (and you'll probably save some money, too). Listed below are several suggestions about how you can follow the three Rs.


By carefully thinking about each purchase you make, it is possible to reduce the waste you create. Waste reduction through smart purchasing is preferable to recycling because it eliminates the initial waste that would otherwise be recycled. Here are some tips:
  • Buy concentrates, products in recyclable or returnable containers, or products in bulk.
  • Buy only the amount of household chemicals, cleaners, pesticides, or paint that you need.
  • Consider borrowing or renting items you may rarely use, such as power tools or lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid purchasing items with excess or unnecessary packaging. Choose items with no packaging, or packaged with recyclable material.
  • Purchase durable and repairable products. Long-lasting products may require an additional initial investment, but will usually save you money in the long run.


Reusing items by repairing them, donating them, or selling them also reduces waste. Reusing is preferable to recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. Here are some tips:
  • Avoid single use items. Purchase reusable items instead. Consider washing silverware and plates instead of purchasing paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Reuse bags, containers, paper, boxes, and other items when possible.
  • Donate or sell your usable unwanted items.
  • Purchase secondhand items when possible. In many cases a secondhand item will do the job just as well as a new product at a much lower cost.


After you have reduced your wastes through selective purchasing and reuse options, recycling is the best choice for getting rid of your waste. Recycling reduces wastes through the process of creating new products from old, discarded products. Buy products that can be recycled in Inver Grove Heights, and make sure to recycle them. By purchasing products that are recycled in Inver Grove Heights, you complete the recycling loop and support local recycling programs.