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.

Where Can I Take…

Items for Reuse 
Athletic ShoesRun About Sports, 1470 S. Main St, Blacksburg
Building Materials, Fixtures                                                      Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 1675 N. Franklin St, Christiansburg
Cardboard boxes, packaging materialsEasy Way Packaging Center, 610 N. Main St., Blacksburg
Corks, CDs, other items for classroom projects                             New River Creative Reuse Center, Christiansburg (see list of accepted items on Facebook)
Egg Cartons                                                                                  Most farmers market vendors who sell eggs
Electronics (working)                                    Y Thrift Store, 1000 N. Main St, Blacksburg
EyeglassesBlacksburg Breakfast Lions Club Collection Boxes
HangersLocal dry cleaners
Plastic flower pots                                                                      Check with the seller; many will reuse their pots
Towels and blanketsMontgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center, 480 Cinnabar Rd, Christiansburg

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

Where Can I Take…

Items for Recycling 
CFLs, Rechargeable Batteries, Ink cartridges (note: alkaline batteries should go in your household trash)                            Y Thrift Store, 1000 N. Main St, Blacksburg
Electronics (nonworking – label as nonworking)                                    Y Thrift Store, 1000 N. Main St, Blacksburg
Metals                                                                                            Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority, 555 Authority Dr, Christiansburg
Plastic film                                                                                    Food Lion, Trex collection box at Blacksburg Community Center


Virginia Tech




Waste Reduction Updates

Week 21: Too Much Waste in our Landfills

A little over a month ago I briefly touched on the amount of waste sent to our landfills when discussing “Choosing Reusables.” The numbers are so staggering though, I think it warrants another look. The EPA collects data on how much trash (or as they refer to it, municipal solid waste) is generated each year and where…

Keep reading

Week 20: Home Energy Use

According the the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average home in America consumes about 11,000 kWh (kilowatthours) per year, which accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. If considered a country, these emissions would be considered the world’s sixth largest GHG emitter, comparable to Brazil and larger than Germany. The…

Keep reading

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