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What is Precycling?

Precycle is a term referring to the reduction of overall waste, thereby reducing the amount of product recycled. We can’t reduce all waste, but these tips can help reduce the amount of trash and recycled items! It requires energy to break down and re-purpose the original material, and the resulting product is often a blend of post-consumer and brand-new substances.

Precycling Tips

  1. Buy in bulk - Not only does it mean more for the money spent, but less packaging to throw away. Basically, stay clear of individually-wrapped items which result in more trash and waste.
  2. Avoid single-use disposable items such as paper plates and disposable, plastic, and water bottles. Stock your kitchen with durable items instead of disposables. Use cloth washrags instead of paper towels. Use rechargeable batteries. Think about new uses for recyclable items. Turn them into children’s arts and craft projects, use for holiday decorations and create a customized decoration! Entertain guests by using glass and plastic plates instead of disposables.
  3. Buy larger products with less packaging - Choose bigger versions of your favorite shampoo and cosmetics and buy a larger bar of soap instead of 12-pack of individually wrapped ones. Avoid individually wrapped products.
  4. Opt out of junk mail -  Sign up at or contact the Direct Marketing Association at
  5. Read your magazines and newspapers online and send invitations online.
  6. Reuse products - Save used brown paper bags, twist ties, plastic food bags, foam packing chips, gift wrap, and holiday cards for reuse. Cut old bedding, socks and unwearable clothes for rags.

If you have any questions or concerns please call the city at 512-990-6100.