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Reduce and Reuse


Take action to help create a market for recycled paper – buy recycled paper products made with post-consumer waste; recycle paper to save trees from being cut down. This process reduces the amount of energy needed to produce more paper by about half and reduces air pollution emissions. Use washable rather than paper plates, cups or napkins. Choose “tree-free” paper products, such as those made from hemp.

Additional Information - According to the EPA, the average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash per day and on the whole the U.S. produces more than 250 million tons of trash per year. However, at this time only 35 percent is currently being recycled.

Visit this link to learn more about recycling - iwanttobe recycled.org.

Remember, you can recycle in Irving - either at the curbside or drop-off recycling centers.

Want to recycle plastic bags? You can! Visit this website to learn more - abagslife.com and select "Find a Recycle Center" to find a recycling location nearest you.

Reusing items – Repairing, donating to a charity or selling items also reduces waste. Reusing products, when possible, is even better than recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. When shopping, purchase items that can be reused. Use durable coffee mugs. Use cloth napkins or towels. Clean out juice bottles and use them for water. Use empty jars to hold leftover food. Reuse boxes. Purchase refillable pens and pencils. Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away.

The Green Seam Project: Avoiding waste is a goal of many residents. At some City of Irving events, you may receive a reusable shopping bag. We met the people responsible for making them, and learned more about the problem the bags can help solve. To find out more, click here

Tips to Reduce Waste

  • Buy permanent items instead of disposables. Use your own camera instead of a disposable one to reduce waste while capturing memories. Consider buying a digital camera so that you don’t have to use film and only print the pictures you want to keep.
  • Buy and use only what you need.
  • Buy products with less packaging.
  • Buy products that use less toxic chemicals.
  • Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers. Give gifts that  don’t require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates.
  • Send recycled-content greeting cards to reduce the amount of virgin paper used during the holidays. You can also send electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts and consider giving a battery charger. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.
  • Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money.

Holiday Waste Food for Thought – From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons—it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. In the U.S., annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. The amount of cards sold during the holiday season would fill a football field 10 stories high, and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees. About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season.