Waste Reduction & Reuse

Solid Waste Professionals have created the solid waste hierarchy to guide the public in the proper management of solid waste. At the top of the hierarchy or the first consideration in managing waste, is to reduce the amount of materials generated in the first place.

To find out more about the rest of the solid waste hierarchy see:
Waste Reduction
Waste reduction or source reduction is the practice of preventing waste by decreasing or eliminating the amount of materials initially used. Some examples of waste reduction include purchasing products in bulk quantities rather than single servings, like cereal or potato chips. Another example is to use reusable serving utensils and trays instead of disposable items; or to manage grass clippings by using a mulching lawn mower and leaving clippings on the lawn.
Michigan Hierarchy of Solid Waste Management


Reuse is the second preferred waste management option after waste reduction. Reuse is the practice of using a material over and over again in its current form. The essence of reuse is that it preserves some or all of the energy and materials that went into making an item. Society has long embraced the practice of reuse by finding alternate uses for an item rather than disposing or recycling it. Some common examples include donating used household items like books, magazines, clothing, kitchen wares, etc. It may also include using empty food containers to store leftovers or reusing plastic grocery sacks to line trash containers or pick up after pets.

Reuse Links

Mid-Michigan Freecycle Network
"One person's 'trash' is another person's treasure." The Mid-Michigan Freecycle Network (MMFN) has been established to decrease landfilling by giving new life to good used stuff. So whether you are looking to donate or looking to find an item, any size or shape, this is a great way of doing it. Although, all items must be donated or picked up for free. So join the forum, spread the word, and don't trash it, Freecycle it!