Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Reuse and Recycle

Reuse vs Recycle

In everyday life one uses the same handbag for work every week. It is an example of reusing. Recycling of old tires into a road surfacing compound is an example of the process of recycling. We reuse and recycle items every day. Both to recycle and reuse are processes applied in the direction of reducing waste. However, there are differences between these terms as discussed below.

According to the dictionary, the word “reuse” means “to employ for some purpose” or “to put into service.” Reusing involves usage of the same product unchanged in form. If any item is used again and again over time, it is said to be reused. The main purpose of reusing is to lengthen the life of the item or material. We give out used clothes for charity which results in reusing. Other examples are; buying some items and then selling them as used items, repairing some lawn equipment and reusing them, upgrading a computer, renting books, journals, periodicals, DVDs and others. The main purpose is to make the item last as long as it can.

According to the dictionary, “recycle” means “to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse.” In recycling an item, it is processed into a totally new product. It is an energy consuming process. For example, if we put some plastic bottles, paper, or aluminium items in a recycling bin, these materials may be recycled into a totally different thing as clothing items, fabric, or maybe a quilt. In this process, energy is required which depends upon the stages of transformation.

Eco-friendly point
To reuse simply prevents the material from going to waste. The water, air, and land are not polluted when recycling. These are some reasons in favor of recycling. Reusing of products reduces the problem of waste disposal, provides cheap and affordable goods to consumers, creates employment opportunities and new businesses. When household expenses and other financial problems prevent one from buying new items, reused items should be seen as the option which are eco-friendly as well. No doubt recycling is a very important part of waste management, but items or materials to be recycled must be first reused to their full potential.


1.Reusing is when one uses something again and again over time up to its potential while recycling means that any material such as paper, plastic, glass, and other items that are separated and recycled, purified, and converted in its original form to be used as new paper, plastic, or glass.
2.The process of recycling results in a totally new product from the parent material whereas this is not the case with reusing.
3.Recycling involves energy consumption according to the degree of recycling while reusing involves minimal energy.
4.Reusing does not damage the environment any further while recycling may produce harmful effluents.

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