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.

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 19: Shared Community Resources

These past four months, we have discussed ways in which we can wisely use our resources so Blacksburg can be a sustainable, special place. Sustainability assumes that resources are finite and must be used wisely in order to meet our needs while making sure future generations can meet their own needs. This includes decreasing our…

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Week 18: Reuse or Repair Something You Already Have Instead of Buying New

By now, hopefully it’s pretty obvious that a major component of sustainability includes careful consideration of our purchases and making sure we get the maximum life out of the “things” we use. We’ve talked about sustainable gift-giving, buying smarter, reducing our use of single-use plastics, choosing reusables, buying secondhand items, and donating items so others…

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