Trash Trek: Research the four R’s

As they say in Texas, y’all know about the three R’s:  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  However, did you know about the 4th “R”?  It’s called “Repurpose” and could be considered a part of Reuse which the wiki article on here does a great job of summarizing. Repurpose/Reuse may play a big role in this year’s FLL Trash Trek Research Project.

8rs-waste-management-diagram-1200-900In fact, someone came up with the 8 R’s of Waste Management

Trash Trek Coaches Handbook Cover.  The “Trash to Treasure” on the cover suggests that this year’s challenge may emphasize Recycling/Reusing/Repurposing waste materials into differing products with new uses.  Read more speculation at the FLL Coaches Forum on the Trash Trek Thread.


If this speculation from the cover of this fall’s Coaches’ Handbook is accurate then we are working in the middle of the Waste minimization pyramid below



And here are two tables showing how various materials can be optimally dealt with at various stages of the inverted pyramid above:material_rs   waste hierarchy including text

In our research, here is a handy list of key/search terms that will help us in acquiring a background into the field of Waste Management and Repurposing Waste Materials.

Search Terms:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle





Waste Flow

Material/Product Life Cycle Assessment



Design for Repurposing ( Artists/Designers – see Examples from Mexico  ) ( Artists repurposing and upcycling object into new pieces of art/functionality )

TerraCycle Company ( More Recycle than Reuse )



Waste to Energy

Films: (Graphic depiction of how waste plastics pollute/kill birds) (Problem of waste plastics)

Ideas: (whimsical)

Finally, here are several diagrams that give you a more global view into the Waste Management Process.

waste_integrated_wasteDifferent Domain Expertise of Waste Management


 Various Types of Solid Waste StrategiesWaste_hierarchy_initiatives Web of Inter-related aspects of Waste Management


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