The Principle of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. These three magic words must be kept in mind and applied by everyone living on earth, for the life on this planet to sustain. All humans, from infants, children to adults, produce waste. Therefore, this concept of reduce, reuse, recycle or 3R should be instilled from early age and applied by all people.

On its website (, the Department of Public Works explained that waste is processed using a system that collects, transports, and disposes it. At the dump site, the waste is treated with Sanitary Landfill technology. This method involves digging a hole of 15-20 meters deep. The hole is then coated with a geoplastic layer to prevent the waste from contaminating the surrounding soil and spreading to a larger area. A water channel is installed beneath the hole to direct the flow of waste liquid.

When ready, the hole is filled with waste up to two meters high and then topped with soil. It is continued to be filled with more and more layers of waste and soil until it reaches the maximum of 15 meters. After several years, when it is considered safe, the area can be used for other purposes. However, because finding a large area for a dump site is often quite challenging for big cities like Jakarta and Bandung, the waste is often kept in the open.

So we know that the waste problem has been a significant issue for most big cities that it is important for us to change our lifestyle and apply the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle principle.

1. Reduce

- Minimize the use of shopping bags by using carton boxes or reusing the bags when shopping for groceries.

- Buy refilled soaps and shampoos, etc.

- Turn off the TV, AC and lamps when not being used.

- Use water efficiently. This will also reduce the monthly water bills because the water company charges consumers based on the cubic meter used.

2. Reuse

Be creative and find the multiple uses of an item.

- Refashion. This is a trend in fashion that promotes the concept of reuse. With creativity and a good tailor, we can follow this trend. Do you have a worn out, holey pair of jeans? Turn it into a beautiful skirt. How? Check this out:

- Sort and classify. Sort your clothes for the ones that are still wearable to be donated and the ones that are worn out, which you can use as rags for cleaning.

- You can make your own cake stand from a tree trunk. Check this out:

- An old bedsheet can be made into a nice pair of pillow cases or kitchen curtain.

- Used ketchup and chili sauce bottles can be painted into beautiful flower vases. Check this out:

3. Recycle

- Recycled paper. Used paper can be mixed with some other items to create new paper with interesting texture.

- Household plastic waste from the packaging of soap and drinks can be used to make a colorful bag, umbrella, and handicraft.

- Used carton boxes can be arranged as a laptop stand, table lamp and cellphone stand.

Let’s keep the planet livable, Healthy People. Go green and save green.

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