Do a quick survey of your garbage can; at home or at work. Do you see any of the following items?
20 oz. Soda bottles
Energy Bar Wrappers
Drink Pouches (like Capri Sun)
Now even if you are an active recycler most of these items cannot be recycled in traditional ways. Take the drink pouches for example; all those Capri Sun and other brands of juice pouches that the kids love; they just go in the trash. Wouldn’t you like to find a way to recycle or upcycle everything that we consider waste?
Well TerraCycle, Inc can help. I mentioned in my last post that TerraCycle reuses these waste items and turns them into useful products; eliminating the recycling process by upcycling. Now I know you may be thinking; “What can they do with drink pouches?”, or “What can they make from cookie wrappers?” We already know they use the soda bottles to package products such as plant food and household cleaners. How would you like to use a tote bag made from 100% drink pouches? Or how about a handbag made from cookie wrappers? My son is loving his pencil pouch made from the drink pouches.
To make things even more fun, how would you like to make money for upcycling these items? TerraCycle will send all participants 0.01-0.02 cents per item (sometimes more) that you send back. I should explain that in order to receive the money you need to be a non-profit organization, they don’t actually send the money to individuals. I think that’s one of the things that made this even more exciting for me and my family. We collect items; send them back; and a non-profit of our choice gets free money from our waste. It’s not a lot of money; but every little bit helps for most of these organizations. We choose a local marine aquarium and rescue organization. We are recycling the drink pouches at our house so TerraCycle sent us 4 pre-paid shipping envelopes. Each envelope will hold 100 drink pouches. When the envelopes are full you seal it and send it back to TerraCycle. They in turn add money to your account. Twice a year they send the checks to the non-profit that you choose when you signed up.
As a family you probably won’t generate a lot of money for your organization but think about it at work. My husbands company doesn’t have a recycling program in place. He took it upon himself to start recycling cans and bottles from the breakrooms. He then takes them to a drop off center so they get recycled. He could choose a non-profit organization and send the bottles to TerraCycle instead. Right now there is a waiting list for the Bottle Brigade but he hopes to one day be able to participate in that for work.
Think about your average day care center or elementary school; how many juice pouches do you think they go through in a day? They could be upcycling these drink pouches instead of throwing them away.
So what are you waiting for? Go join a brigade today! Not only will you be upcycling but you will also be earning a donation for a non-profit organization. Don’t forget to check back here often; I still have 3 more posts to write about the things I love about TerraCycle. At the end I have a cool tote bag (made from those juice pouches) to giveaway to one lucky reader.
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Jeanne R says
That is very exciting. What a simple, really great program. Thanks for sharing this information.
Thank you for posting about Terracycle, great program! PS: a tip on the wine corks if you don’t recycle them, you can make great trivets out of them (for hot pans). Have a great weekend 🙂