TerraCycle: Eliminating the idea of waste

Day 23TerraCycle was born in 2001, when a freshman at Princeton University took food scraps to create quality fertilizer. Twenty years later, Tom Szaky has grown the company and its programs to include over 202 million people in 21 countries that have helped to collect and recycle enough waste to raise over 44 million dollars for charities around the world. TerraCycle has made recycling those hard to recycle items a little bit easier.

Here’s how it works (as seen on TerraCycles website):

  1. Free Recycling Programs – TerraCycle offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers around the world to help you collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste. Simply choose the programs you’d like to join; start collecting in your home, school, or office; download free shipping labels; and send us your waste to be recycled. You can even earn rewards for your school or favorite non-profit!
  2. Zero Waste Box – TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box™ platform allows you to recycle almost any type of waste, from your coffee capsules to complex laboratory waste. Choose the waste stream you’d like to recycle, purchase your preferred box size, collect your waste, and send it to TerraCycle to be repurposed (shipping is included).
  3. Municipal Programs – TerraCycle partners with many municipalities around the world to provide zero waste solutions such as city-wide programs for recycling cigarette butts.
  4. Industrial Waste Solutions – TerraCycle partners with many manufacturing facilities around the world to help recycle hard-to-recycle waste at the facility level. Our programs range from helping to recycle large volumes of packaging scrap to personal safety equipment.
  5. Regulated Waste Recycling – TerraCycle’s regulated waste division provides products and services to help you facilitate the effective and compliant management of regulated, universal and hazardous waste. This may include fluorescent lamps, bulbs, batteries, and e-waste as well as organic waste, medical waste and other waste streams that are potentially harmful to the environment.

In the coming months, I will discuss my participation in various programs offered by TerraCycle. I’ll be sure to include the pros and cons, so you can decide if it can be a viable option for your recycling needs.

Tomorrow, the dilemma of what to do with old furniture.

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