What if there was no waste in the world and everything we currently toss out, without a second thought, could be upcycled or repurposed as something useful with a little imagination? TerraCycle wants to eliminate the idea of waste and has created recycling systems for “trash” previously considered non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle, and transforms the collected waste into a range of products and materials.
TerraCycle, founded by Tom Szaky in 2001, today, has over 20 million people participating in their waste collection Brigade programs in more than 20 countries. The billions of units of waste gathered has been used to create over 1,500 different products ranging from a recycled fence made of upcycled drink pouches and circuit board desk clocks, to skunk odour remover in recycled pop bottles, all available online and some at major retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods Market.
If you’re interested in joining a Brigade, visit the TerraCycle website to sign up. During the process, you pick the type of waste you’d like to collect, start collecting, and once you’re done you can download to receive free shipping to TerraCycle. Once gathered, the company turns the collected waste into new products and materials, and, for your efforts, TerraCycle will donate $0.02 per unit of waste collected to your charity of choice!
In addition to their Brigade program for waste collection, TerraCycle has also developed a curriculum series through The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education that includes lesson plans and teaching materials to educate students from K-12 about nature, the environment and waste. They also like to keep things fun with various contests, rewards programs and local events as part of their approach to eliminating the idea of waste.
Thank you TerraCycle for making our world wonderful.
LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: Have you worked on an upcycle project before? What did you make?