The 5 R’s – Recycling Hierarchy

The slogan we have all come to know and love has upgraded. Are you aware that the 3 R’s has changed to 5 R’s? By following these five steps daily, we can REDUCE what we RECYCLE!

STEP ONE: Rethink

Reducing waste may be as simple as rethinking about our daily choices. With the environmental movement, there are now multiple eco-friendly and sustainable options for single-use or easily disposable products. Have you considered an in-home composting system for your organic waste instead of tossing your food scraps in the garbage? What about using a reusable mug and straw at a restaurant rather than option for a disposable option. The more you complete the first step, the less you have to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Starting a green lifestyle is easier than you may think, so start today!

STEP TWO: Refuse

As a consumer, you have the choice to say “NO”. By making greener choices, learning how to shop zero-waste, and adding other alternatives to our everyday regimes, we can one step at a time begin healing our planet! Refuse plastic grocery bags by bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store or refuse to buy items with excessive packaging. Write to manufacturers about switching to alternative packaging.


Reducing your eco-footprint sounds difficult, however, there are healthy and clever alternatives we can make on a daily basis. Did you pack a zero-waste lunch today? By reducing the amount of easily disposable waste like plastic sandwich bags or convenience-sized individually packaged foods we use daily, we can ultimately reduce the overall amount of waste being generated and taken to landfills. Did you bike to work or car share with a colleague? Both solutions cut down on the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions, meaning you’re gradually helping out Mother Nature.


Is that item you are going to recycle or throw out considered “junk”? Through the eyes of another, it may not be! Know before you throw. Could you donate that item to someone else in need? Can you convert the use of those old rusty pots and pans by upcycling them? Looking for upcycling ideas and recycling tips? Follow our Facebook @LoraasEnviro. Looking to divert your recyclables? Visit the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council website at

STEP FIVE: Recycle

The last step in the Waste Reduction hierarchy is always opting for recycling. If you couldn’t rethink it, refuse it, reduce it, reuse it…then recycle it! Remember, not everything with a recycling symbol can be recycled. Our program accepts rippable paper, flattened cardboard, household aluminum and tin, and plastics with the number 1 thru 7 recycling symbol only. All other items will have to be diverted to other recycling programs. Loraas Environmental Services is here to help you put your recyclable waste in the right place!

By working together, we can make our communities a cleaner and greener place to live and to pass onto our future generations! By using recycled materials we can save our natural resources. Remember to think smart, recycle smart.