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Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District

Waste Hierarchy

Each of us can make changes to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill. By following the waste hierarchy, we can change our consumption habits to have the greatest effect on waste reduction. While recycling and composting are great options, limiting the creation of disposable goods and reusing existing goods will do even more to protect our environment and public health. Use the waste hierarchy to consider changes you can make to maximize your positive impact.

re-think, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle or compost, and responsible disposal

Re-Think

  • Consider ways to share or borrow items
  • Give experiences as gifts and rethink favors at events
  • ASK: How do we re-think systems to avoid needless/wasteful consumption?

Refuse

  • Say no to plastic by using cloth bags, reusable drink bottles, and bringing your own to-go containers
  • Avoid freebies at events which collect dust in your closet
  • Buy in bulk using your own containers 

Reduce

  • Use cloth napkins, rags, and washcloths to reduce single use papers
  • Identify cleaning products which can be used in multiple ways or which do not include hazardous materials
  • Consider your personal care routines to reduce packaging
  • Choose products that maximize the useable lifespan instead of those that are quickly damaged and disposed

Re-Use

  • Donate home goods, toys or clothing you no longer need to thrift stores or non-profits
  • Use online markets or social media or a garage sale to give away or sell items 
  • Buy used and encourage or share hand-me-downs in your social circles
  • Plan your meals to use foods in multiple ways, repurpose leftovers, and minimize food waste

Recycle or Compost

Responsible Disposal

  • Follow state and local regulations to properly dispose of household hazardous waste, tires, vehicle waste oil, and appliances
  • Utilize residential or commercial solid waste provider to dispose of remaining trash at the landfill
  • Take acceptable solid waste directly to the Bioreactor Landfill in Columbia