Climate Change and Sustainability Initiative
Waste Reduction

Reduce, reuse, recycle! Recycling and other waste reduction strategies reduce the amount of energy used and greenhouse gas emitted in (1) extraction of virgin resources, (2) decomposition of the first product, and (3) production of a new product. According to the EPA, together, waste prevention and recycling:

  • Reduce methane emissions from landfills. Waste prevention and recycling (including composting) divert organic wastes from landfills, thereby reducing the methane released when these materials decompose.
  • Reduce emissions from incinerators. Recycling and waste prevention allow some materials to be diverted from incinerators and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of waste.
  • Reduce emissions from energy consumption. Recycling saves energy. Manufacturing goods from recycled materials typically requires less energy than producing goods from virgin materials. Waste prevention is even more effective at saving energy. When people reuse things or when products are made with less material, less energy is needed to extract, transport, and process raw materials and to manufacture products. The payoff? When energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere.
  • Increase storage of carbon in trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in wood, in a process called "carbon sequestration." Waste prevention and recycling of paper products allow more trees to remain standing in the forest, where they can continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Event Recycling Program

Skagit County now offer event recycling under Zero-Waste Events