Source Reduction & Reuse

Source Reduction
What is purchased has a direct relationship to what is thrown away. Keene residents can prevent excessive packaging or other materials from ever getting into the waste stream by "precycling".

Some Source Reduction Ideas Include:

  • Purchase products packaged in recylable materials such as paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum, rather than plastic.
  • Ask for paper bags, not plastic, or better yet, bring your own bags to the store.
  • If you are a coffee take-out patron, bring your own cup.
  • Avoid purchasing one-use-only items, such as disposable razors. Use products like rechargeable batteries.
  • Donate to area charities clothing or household items that might otherwise be thrown away.
  • Patronize businesses that offer goods in bulk and in recyclable packages, and let store managers know you would rather buy such items.
  • Support legislation that favors recycling and reduces unnecessary or nonrecyclable packaging.


Many items received daily at the landfill are intact or in need of minor repairs. Reusing discarded material is one of the best ways to reduce waste because the inherent structure and value, as well as the energy used to produce the material is conserved.

Items such as home appliances, household goods, furniture, clothing, building materials, books and many other items can find a second life through reuse.

Some Reuse Ideas Include:

  • Church groups and social service organizations often collect reusable items.
  • List the item in the Classifieds and earn some extra money (your trash is someone's treasure).
  • Consignment shops, flea markets, yard sales and bulletin boards are effective ways to keep an item out of the landfill.
  • Use glass jars for storage, bring back your plastic shopping bag and use it again, use junk mail as scrap paper.
  • Be creative. New Englanders are famous for being resourceful.... nothing great was ever accomplished without imagination.