Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Solid Waste Management
Lindsay Carille, Deputy Commissioner



Public library used book sale
Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library
used book sale

One person’s garbage may be another person’s treasure. Before you throw something out, think about if you or someone else may be able to reuse it.

Reuse is the recovery of materials and products for the same or a similar end use. It involves taking useful products, such as furniture, books and appliances, discarded by those who no longer want or need them and redistributing them to those who do. In contrast to recycling, which recovers materials for processing, reuse recovers the original product. Reuse, therefore, primarily involves collection and redistribution of goods.

Repair is often another function of reuse operations when durable goods need only minimal repair to be fully functioning again.

Right here in the Hudson Valley you can find great deals on used items through thrift, consignment shops and second hand retailers. A thrift shop is run by a Not For Profit organization to raise money to fund their charitable causes. A consignment shop accepts merchandise on a consignment basis, paying the owners of the merchandise a percentage when the items are sold.

There are also online sources to find or sell items for reuse:



These sources provide countless items, some free, some not. You can narrow your search for items to specific areas, such as the Dutchess County area.

For businesses, institutions, governments and non-profits: The Reuse Marketplace

If you would like to give away or obtain free items there is The Freecycle Network: There is a Dutchess County area group accessible on the website.

You can also donate gently used items to local charities, and books to libraries, senior centers and hospitals. Vehicles can be donated to the Wheels for Wishes donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, Veteran Car Donations, Give2Kids, and Breast Cancer Car Donations . The point is to try to find a way to reuse, or help someone else use, your unwanted items.

Deconstruction is another method of reuse. It is the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for re-use, recycling, and waste management. The process of dismantling structures has been revived by the growing field of sustainable, green building. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means and materials are either landfilled or recycled.

Deconstruction involves carefully taking apart portions of buildings or removing their contents with reuse as the primary goal. It focuses on giving the materials within a building new life once the building as a whole can no longer continue. At the end of a building’s life, demolition generates large amounts of materials that can be reused or recycled. Rather than demolish an entire building, consider “deconstructing” all or part of the structure.

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