5 R’s of Sustainability, Day 4: Recycle

Do you want to learn how you can be more “green” or “eco-conscious”? To help us celebrate National Reuse Day on Friday, October 20, throughout this week we will be sharing information about the “5 R’s of Sustainability”, how to be more eco-friendly, and Stardust’s role in the community.

Have you heard of the 5 R’s of Sustainability? They are made up of “Refuse”, “Reduce”, “Rot”, “Recycle”, and “Reuse”. (You may also see other versions including “Repair”, “Repurpose”, or “Reclaim”.)

The fourth R in the series, which we will talk about today, will be: “RECYCLE”.

About Recycle

In this context, “Recycle” is the process of converting certain reusable waste materials into new products, which is a much more environmentally-friendly way of managing waste and using resources, instead of throwing them into landfills. Recycling can be done in many different ways, but in America, municipal recycling programs where recycling is sorted into blue or green bins by residents are offered in most areas. (Not sure if your area has a recycling program? Check your city’s government website, or search WM’s website.)

Recycling is among one of the most important of the 5 R’s because it has a direct impact not only on you, but also on your community, and the planet as a whole – by diverting a large amount of reusable materials into recycling, you help lower the amount of waste added to landfills, or processed in general. When you limit your use of non-recyclable materials, you are making for a more sustainable future.

Changes You Can Make

Ready to do more with recycling? Here are some changes you can make:

  • Look for items made with post-consumer recycled materials – these can range from industrial supplies, such paper, glass bottles, or cans, to personal items, like new shoes made from old tires, or new clothes made from recycled clothes.
  • Make sure you’re cleaning and sorting your recycling properly – as time has passed, and new types of materials can now be recycled, the process can sometimes be complicated. Some items, like electronic waste (phones, TV’s, etc) require processing at specific sites. If you have questions, check your city’s recycling requirements (Click here for Mesa’s blue bin recycling program; or click here for Mesa’s recycling parent page)
  • Create new recycling programs – there are many places unable to take part in the city’s recycling program, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out; for example, to get around a city ordinance that does not allow apartment complexes in the Phoenix area to receive municipal recycling services, the city of Phoenix set up “eco-stations” where people can visit and place their recyclables when they don’t have access otherwise. If your area needs help with recycling, contact your officials and see what changes they are making to help make your area more sustainable!

How Is Stardust “Recycling”?

So, how does Stardust fit into all of this? While our focus is on reuse (another of the 5 R’s!), we do support other sustainable efforts in our community. One of our main partners for the Mesa store is actually AZ StRUT, or Arizona Student Recycling Used Technology. StRUT is a non-profit that helps refurbish older pieces of technology, and donates them to schools and other non-profits. In 2022 alone, StRUT was able to donate almost 4,000 refurbished computers! Partners like AZ StRUT are so important because they help our give our community the resources to recycle responsibly. Together, we hope to #StarveTheLandfill.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources: