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Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle

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Waste hierarchy.png Waste hierarchy W

What communities can do[edit]

Overview, see right hand column for more

  • Bring and Fix schemes
  • Community art from recycled materials
  • Community paper collections
  • Develop community libraries of all kinds thereby promoting reuse and sharing, see separate article
  • Develop Community Recycling schemes or cooperatives, Community Wood Recycling Projects, Community compost schemes
  • Enable Computer recycling and Furniture recycling
  • Give or take days, Give or take stalls at Green fairs
  • Nappy laundering service
  • Precycling, Waste minimisation
  • promote free reuse and Better Use
  • Promoting products that are actually repairable in the first place (and not engineered to be disposable). A wiki or magazine could provide info on the most repairable products.
  • Rent instead of buy
  • Repair services and repair cafes
  • Scrapstores
  • Second-hand clothing, etc. stores, support charity shops
  • Waste exchange schemes
  • X-mas present swapping market

Why it matters[edit]

(article needed)

The 5th 'R'[edit]

A fifth 'R' is sometimes added. Examples include: 'Refuse', 'remanufacture', 'recover', 'restore', 'redesign', 'repurposing', 'rot' (compost), etc. [1]

Bring and fix[edit]

Article in NewStart, October 2011

Bring & Fix, Rushey Green Time Bank, and on facebook

Repair Café[edit]

A Repair Cafe is a meeting in which people repair appliances/devices, organized by and for local residents. They meet at a fixed location where tools are available and where they can fix their broken stuff with the help of handy volunteers. Objectives are to reduce the waste pile, to maintain repairing knowledge and to strengthen the social cohesion. W

Repair Cafe by Ilvy Njiokiktjien.jpg

Waste minimization[edit]

Waste minimization is a process of elimination that involves reducing the amount of waste produced in society and helps eliminate the generation of harmful and persistent wastes, supporting the efforts to promote a more sustainable society. Waste minimisation involves redesigning products and/or changing societal patterns, concerning consumption and production, of waste generation, to prevent the creation of waste. W


  • How to Start a Repair Café, information from Shareable
  • iFixit, the free repair guide for everything, written by everyone. Global community of people helping each other repair things
  • Restart Party Kit

Citizens data initiative[edit]

temporary editorial note: Technology Used to Protect Our Planet link moved to Ethical consumerism 08:46, 10 December 2015 (PST)


Global map of Restart Parties

The grassroots repair and fixit movement, Map brought to you by The Restart Project


  • Plastic Pollution Coalition, global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.
  • Repair Café
  • WARPit, resource redistribution network


"If the garbage man calls, tell him we don't want any" Groucho Marx


Grassroots Innovation and the Circular Economy - A Global Survey of Repair Cafés and Hackerspaces PDF, July 2014


more video: NESTA innovation in giving fund - Bring and Fix on vimeo

News and comment[edit]


Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme, Apr 16 [2]


Brightly coloured bins (geograph 3329979).jpg

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle UK: Make supermarkets and drinks firms pay for plastic recycling, say MPs, Dec 22 [3]

A view from Shanay village- Lebanon (2752226169).jpg

The 81-year-old woman inspiring Lebanon to recycle, Jun 8 [4]

Central Park New York City1.jpg

Stop 'N' Swap Events Make New York City More Sustainable, Apr 26 [5]

Stockholm-Gamla Stan-3.jpg

Sweden: Opens World’s First Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods, Apr 4 [6]

Stockholm Biochar Project, a Mayors Challenge Winner, Opens its First Plant, Mar 29 [7]

Museo Botánico Chirau Mita.jpg

A Grassroots Repair Club in Argentina is Breaking the Cycle of Consumerism, Mar 15 [8]


Germany Gleefully Leads List of World’s Top Recyclers, Nov 28 [9]

Shareable's Top 17 Decluttering Tips, Aug 3 [10]


How to upcycle your neighbourhood, September 17 [11]

New worldwide website for Repair Café, September 9 [12]

Gambiarra: repair culture, March 8. "Repairing things as a cultural trend is inextricably related to organic food, natural birthing, cultural diversity, upcycling, sustainable mobility, urban farming, fair trade, culture of peace and digital commons." by felipefonseca [13]


Plastic Bank: How to solve the plastic pollution problem and poverty at the same time, April 10 [14]


Growing e-waste threat to health and the environment. Urgent need to prepare developing countries, says UN, 22 February [15]

See also[edit]

  • local information can be found, or shared, via our many location pages

Interwiki links[edit]

Wikipedia: Zero waste and its Governance section, Waste reduction (category), Reuse (category), Recycling (category),

External links[edit]

  • The Plastic Bank, recycling to reduce plastic waste and poverty
  • The Restart Project, London-based social enterprise aiming to revive electronics repair in order to reduce waste
  • World Computer Exchange, USA and Canada based charity organization whose mission is "to reduce the digital divide for youth in developing countries, to use our global network of partnerships to enhance communities in these countries, and to promote the reuse of electronic equipment and its ultimate disposal in an environmentally responsible manner." W


This page includes Creative Commons Licensed content from the Sustainable community action wiki on Wikia.
The list of authors can be seen in the history, link via drop down menu at top left of page.

  1. Glossary of sustainability terms
  2. BBC News
  3. The Guardian
  4. bbc.co.uk
  5. @Shareable
  6. goodnewsnetwork.org
  7. bloomberg.org
  8. @Shareable
  9. nytimes.com
  10. Shareable
  11. NewStart
  12. Repair Café
  13. efeefe
  14. Mother Nature Network
  15. United Nations Environment Programme