4R Principle

4R Principle | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Recover



4R Principle is the widely used principle in solid waste management and 4R depicts reduce, recycle, reuse & recover.

In the modern world, we depend much on ready-made and artificial products. There are many alternatives available for a single item. It has increased the production of soil waste along with the problems related to it. “The use of 4R principle controls the production of solid waste and minimize the number of wastes to be disposed of .”

According to latest update in 4R, Reprocess has been added to be 5R.


4R Principle

4R represents Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover & are explained below:


1. Reduce:

It includes all the activities which reduce the generating of solid waste into the environment. We should always try to minimize the unnecessary use of artificial things or products in our daily life.

We can reduce the solid waste in our community by considering the followings points:

1. We should choose durable items while buying.

2. We should change our habit of using things i.e. use washable clothes napkins instead of napkins paper.

3. Use washable containers for lunches & sacks instead of using non-reusable plastic bags.

4. We should buy recycled products.

5. It is better to use cotton bags for shopping.

6. Print on both sides of a paper so that we can reduce waste production (for public awareness )

7. Warning sign should be printed on products showing the disposal method.


2. Reuse:

The usage of any product itself without changing its form and composition is called Reuse. It is the act of re-claiming the product by using it for different purposes. Reuse increases the life of waste and reduces the production of waste so that it preserves the environment & its resources.

We can reuse solid waste by considering the following points:

1. Use reusable plastic bags or cotton bags for shopping.

2. Use & reuse cotton diapers instead of disposable ones.

3. We should donate our old clothes & other items to charitable organizations.

4. Use plastic gallons to store water & oil.

5. Use the old books, of DVD’s & CD’s, etc.

6. Buy a rechargeable battery.

7. Reuse electronics devices after repairing.


3. Recycle:

Recycle means re-covering a previously used object and giving it a second life. The use of waste by processing & modifying into another form is called recycling.

Paper & cardboard, glass, metal, debris from construction & demolition .etc. can also be recycled and used again.


paper is recycled to cardboard, toilet paper, tissue paper, etc.

The newspaper is recycled to egg cartons, shoe boxes, etc.


4. Recover:

Most of the materials thrown in the garbage can be used & processed in ways other than being destroyed. eg: methane gas can be recovered from decomposing organic matters.


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