3.3       Benefits of Reuse

•           Environmental benefits

            Many reuse programs have evolved from local waste reduction goals because reuse requires fewer resources, less energy, and less labour, compared to recycling, disposal, or manufacture of new products from virgin materials.

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Reuse in waste reduction hierarchy

            Reuse provides an excellent benefit, environmentally-preferred alternative to other waste management methods because it reduces air, water, and land pollution; limits the need for new natural resources, such as timber, oil, fibre, and other materials. The EU environmental policy has recently identified waste reduction as an important method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

•           Community benefits

            For many years, reuse has been used as a critical channel for getting needed materials to the many disadvantaged populations. Reuse continues to provide an excellent way for people to get the food, clothing, construction materials, business equipment, medical supplies and other items that they desperately need. There are other ways however, in which reuse may benefit the community. Many reuse centers are engaged in job training programs, programs for the handicapped or youth at risk.

•           Economic benefits

            Reusing materials instead of creating new products from new materials lessens the burden to the economy. Reuse is an economical way for people of all socio-economic statuses to acquire the items they need, such as business furniture and household items, cars and appliances. It is cheaper to buy used things than new ones.