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5R's (Re-thinking, Reduction, Reuse, Recycle and Recovery)

Businesses are being forced to change the way they manage waste. Faced with regulations, public pressure, landfill shortages and the need for increased resource efficiency, companies are moving away from the waste treatment approach and towards waste prevention. Now, please re-think your practice.

Rethinking attitudes and habits;
Rethinking the products we buy;
Rethinking choices about our future
and our children’s future...

A number of waste prevention techniques are available, and they are commonly summarized as the so-called 5’Rs: re-thinking, reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery.

Reduction, reuse and recycling are known in the industry as the 3Rs. Companies sometimes focus only on the first three in resolving waste management problems. In more innovative companies, 5Rs solutions often emerge as a result of industry benchmarking or technological breakthroughs.

EXIGENCE has interpreted the waste management hierarchy as follows:

Always think before any purchasing or disposing.
Wherever possible, waste reduction is the preferable option.
If waste is produced, every effort should be made to reuse it if practicable.
Recycling is the third option in the waste management hierarchy. Although recycling does help to conserve resources and reduce wastes, it is important to remember that there are economic and environmental costs associated with waste collection and recycling. For this reason, recycling should only be considered for waste which cannot be reduced or reused.
Finally, it may be possible to recover materials or energy from waste which cannot be reduced, reused or recycled.

Empirical evidence suggests that by practicing waste prevention, reusing products, recycling, and making environmentally conscious purchases, businesses can cut costs and increase profits. Cost savings take the form of:

  • Lower administrative costs;
  • Lower waste disposal costs;
  • Lower waste treatment costs;
  • Lower energy costs;
  • Savings on materials and supplies;
  • A reduction in regulatory compliance costs;
  • Lower storage costs;
  • Cost recovery through the sale of recyclable materials;
  • Cost recovery through sales of 5Rs technologies and know-how.




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