TerraCycle defines itself as “…a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste®.” They offer the opportunity to recycle many items that are not suitable for “blue bin” recycling, the recycling we practice in our day-to-day lives.
At school, TerraCycle Zero Waste Box programs can capture non-blue bin recyclables, like candy and snack wrappers. For schools where students continue to eat lunch in classrooms, due to the pandemic, the right Zero Waste Box can capture at least some of the additional lunchtime waste being produced, including plastic eating utensils and single-use, black plastic meal trays, neither of which are suitable for blue bin recycling.
Through a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box collection initiative, students are engaged in a very worthwhile project, with measurable, tangible results, while gaining first-hand experience in how to keep harder-to-recycle materials out of the landfill.
TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes come with a fee, which depends on the size of box purchased. The fee covers shipping for the box and the cost of recycling the materials collected. If school funds are not available, a grant application, requesting funding to purchase of one or more boxes, can be submitted through our School Zero Waste Grant Program. Support is available to complete a grant application; contact John Jose if you need assistance.
This YouTube video by Lucy Biggers of “Now This Earth” provides an excellent overview of what TerraCycle is about and how their Zero Waste Box program works.