Department of Public Works
dpw.lacounty.gov

RethinkRethink

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What is Rethink?

You may be aware of the three “R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle but it is vital that you also Rethink. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink are standards for sustainable living. You can rethink about the waste you produce by using alternative products and considering how you can further reduce your environmental footprint.

However, it's not enough just to put recyclables in the bin; you must rethink about what you can do to root out unnecessary wastefulness. For example, bring your own bag to the store to avoid receiving a single use plastic bag when you shop. You can also look for recycled content in products you make purchases.

How should I start to rethink?

You can start to practice rethink at any time; particularly when you purchase and discard items.

Minimizing the amount of waste you create can bring about a more sustainable environment for future generations. Rethink before throwing away an item you think is broken, worn out, or is no longer wanted. Before discarding any item, first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can it be reused?
  • Is it repairable?
  • Is it recyclable?
  • Can I place the item on LA County’s material exchange website, www.LACoMAX.com?
  • Finding environmentally friendly alternatives rather than wasting is the easiest and most convenient way one can begin to rethink.

    What is buy recycled?

    Collecting recyclables is great, but recycling doesn't actually happen until the material or product is remade into a new product. To assure recycling, you must then buy a remade product. For example, when you purchase paper towels, look for towels made with recycled content. Or when purchasing paper, look for paper containing post-consumer recycled content.

    Remember, you're not truly recycling until you buy recycled goods! By purchasing recycled goods you are helping to close the recycling loop.

    What is having a "green impact"?

    Having a green impact means minimizing your carbon "footprint". You can reduce your footprint by conserving resources, avoiding wastefulness, and redesigning your daily activities to be as efficient as possible.

    What is hazardous waste?

    A hazardous material is any solid, liquid, or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment.

    Hazardous waste is created by dangerous products. Dangerous products may be radioactive, flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive, or bio-hazardous. Other dangerous products that may be considered hazardous waste include oxidizers, asphyxiants, and products that contain pathogens and allergens. There are many more products that may be rendered hazardous in specific circumstances. You can rethink hazardous waste by avoiding these types of products and using alternatives. Click here to find out more!


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