Waste Reduction

Waste reduction is the process of producing and consuming “stuff” in a way that generates less trash. This practice incorporates:

Refusing (ex: don’t buy things you don’t need)

Reducing (ex: buy things that are well made and will last)

Reusing (ex: donate something you no longer need)

Recycling (although the goal is to prevent the materials from even making it to this stage)


Reducing your consumption and waste can have a huge impact on sustainability. This can come in many forms, such as: biking to work/school or taking public transportation; composting to keep waste down to a minimum; making your own cleaning supplies; line drying your clothes; buying quality items so they won’t have be replaced as often; buying in bulk; and investing in energy efficient appliances and lightbulbs. Below are some links to local businesses and organizations that can help you reduce your consumption and waste.



Find nearby composters to share your scraps, or list your composting operation to start receiving scraps!

Food Waste

Read more about how the following local organizations are helping the community reduce our food waste.

The Campus Kitchen

Share the Spare

NRV Glean Team

Future Economy Collective

Interfaith Food Pantry

Micah’s Backpack


Did you know that if you switched to a reusable water bottle you could easily save hundreds of plastic water bottles from the landfill each year. This is only one simple way we can reuse. Reusing and repairing items are great ways to keep stuff out of the landfill. They are also great ways to save money! Below are some links to local organizations that can help you in reusing and repairing items.

Repair and Restore

Thrift and Secondhand Stores

Green icons are charitable organizations, while Blue icons are commercial businesses. Click on each icon to learn more.


We are glad that you are interested in learning more about recycling options around Blacksburg! However, it is important to consider how you can Reduce and REUSE before you resort to recycling. In particular, many items can be repurposed and distributed to local teachers and nonprofits through The New River Valley Creative Reuse Center!

Single Stream Recycling



Virginia Tech




Waste Reduction Updates

Week 11 Recap: Cut Water Use

We are fortunate in our area to have access to abundant, clean water for household uses, agriculture and recreation, but that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted. We’re used to thinking of water shortages as a problem only in the West, but areas of the eastern U.S. are increasingly facing water shortages too,…

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Week 11: Cut Water Use

The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact less than 1 percent is available for human use. The rest is either salt water found in oceans, fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps, or too inaccessible for practical usage. While population and demand on freshwater resources are increasing, supply will…

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Week 10 Recap: Reduce Food Waste

As part of this week’s discussion on reducing food waste, we shared resources, tips, and tricks that you can try at home. Head over to these two articles we posted if you haven’t seen them already! Many Small Actions Can Lead to Big Changes Start with your purchasing and buy only what you need and…

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