The Future of Recycling: Terracycle

Remember in school when you learned about the three “R’s?

You know…reduce, reuse, recycle? (In case you forgot!)

Our kids are learning all about this too, but it’s changed. Recycling isn’t just putting your cans and bottles in the blue bin. Nope, you can recycle things now that we never dreamed of recycling when we were little, like bread bags and soft plastics,

But there are still things we can’t recycle. Things like pizza boxes, Styrofoam (sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t), juice boxes, milk boxes, coffee pods, batteries, art supplies, baby food pouches…you get my drift.

So many of our every day products still end up in the trash, the landfill.

And we used to want to be recycling heroes when we were younger! Remember? We all wanted to be a part of a big change. Why not now?

I found a way.

There is a company called Terracycle. They are kick-ass revolutionaries who are making a difference in a big way.

I discovered them because my husband and I were given a coffee pod system. We LOVE coffee and my my husband really loves espresso. As much as I would love to have a proper espresso machine in my kitchen, the counter space just isn’t there. So this was a very thoughtful gift, and we love it. The only thing? The pods it uses are not recyclable AND they don’t sell a reusable pod (trust me, I looked).

Hmmm. I’m not going to lie, this did deter me from using it for a while, so I kept making pots of coffee because I felt bad throwing out pods EVERY SINGLE DAY. I mean, seriously. I was honestly surprised in this day and age, that a company would make a product that creates so much garbage AND that we couldn’t recycle it! For real, I was shocked.

And then I found Terracycle Zero Waste Boxes.

They sent me a box where I happily chuck my used coffee pods and once the box is full, I mail it back to the company where they recycle all the parts. I feel amazing, and I don’t have to do any of the work. Win-win.

Yes, it costs. But is it worth it? I think so. Wouldn’t you rather pay a nominal fee than feel guilty every time you had a coffee? I drink a lot of coffee.

Terracycle sorts and shreds the pods, and here’s what happens to the separate parts:

Plastics are cleaned, pelletized, and turned into a variety of recycled materials, from plastic lumber to recycle bins.

Metals are sent
to be smelted /recycled.

Coffee grinds are separated and sent to a composter who uses them on farmers fields.

terracycleHow awesome is that???

In this day and age, this is the stuff that matters. And it really should. We can do something about it, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

My Zero Waste box holds about 250 pods…I think it has about 50 in it, so we have a long way to go before we send it back.

I also love involving the kids in recycling, even if it’s something they’re not using right now. It’s important they know we care about the environment and that we’re doing something to protect it.

Oh-and if you think it begins and ends at coffee pods, you should check out their website! They have zero waste boxes for coffee capsules, drink pouches, hair nets, action figures, ink and toner, oral hygiene items, and so much more. It’s awesome!

Let me know if you end up getting one, I would love to hear about your experiences-and if you involve your kids!

2 thoughts on “The Future of Recycling: Terracycle

  1. This is a great article and yes, a long time coming. I use Tim Hortons pods for that very reason, but I really don’t know where the plastic goes – being north of the city, our recycling is a bit different – organized but different.

    Thank you. I’ll check out the terracycle.ca website.

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