The Three R's

The Three R's are the first thing residents and businesses should consider when it comes to responsibly managing their waste.  Implementing the Three R's into your lifestyle and routine will save you money, eliminate clutter, and will help protect and keep our environment clean.  

1. How do I REDUCE the waste I generate?

Reducing is the first essential concept in the waste hierarchy because if there is less waste consumed then there is less to reuse or recycle.  Individuals can start by making smart consumer decisions whether it's for personal purchase or business purchases.  There are ways people can assess the reduction value of an item before purchasing it.  Here are steps you can take and things to consider:

  • Avoid impulse purchases.
    • Consider if you really need the item you are desiring to purchase at the time.  (How long do you intend on using it?  Is it a multi-use item?  Is there a lot of waste generated from making or purchasing that item?)
  • Make a shopping list.
  • Spend money on experiences not things.
  • Avoid shopping online - this will reduce packaging waste.
  • Go paperless.
  • Bring re-usable bags when shopping to reduce single-use plastic bag use.

Visit reduce your waste .org for more ideas.

2. How can I REUSE?

There are many ways individuals can practice reuse and implement it in their lifestyles.  Here are some ways to start:

  • Consider upcycling items like furniture before you throw it out.
  • Donate items for charity instead of disposing of them.
  • Consider having items fixed instead of replacing them and buying new (it may cost less).
    • Visit for locations to bring your item to have it fixed.
    • Also visit for online instructions on how to fix your item.
  • Shop at second hand stores versus buying new.
  • Buy items that can be reused again such as water bottles, shopping bags, and coffee thermoses.
  • Rent and borrow items instead of buying.

3. How do I properly RECYCLE?

Many residents in Sherburne County are already recycling in their own homes however, what a lot of people aren't aware of is how to recycle properly.  Here is what you can do to ensure you are recycling properly in your home:

  • Contact your hauler to ask what can and can't be placed in your recycling bin to avoid recycling contamination.
  • area haulers
  • Research online or contact the Sherburne County Solid Waste Department if you have an item you need to dispose of but, don't know how to do so properly. 763-765-4450