Why is it Reduce, then Reuse, and THEN Recycling?

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FJMES students traveled to Cranbrook to see what happens after they put something into a yellow or black bin. Students saw how the life cycle varies from product to product, how many times aluminum cans and newspapers can be recycled, and what ends up being classified as “wishful recycling” (which is a lot more than anyone thought!) Students then headed to the landfill to see how tires, concrete, wood and garden waste can all be re-purposed, and saw what happened to household waste that couldn’t be saved. The most shocking part was seeing how many items being classified as “household waste” could have been saved. 

So why is recycling last of the three R’s? “Because recycling takes energy, so we should first try to reduce the amount that we are consuming, and then try to use something multiple times before it gets recycled” say students.