Terra Cycle Brigade – Collection of waste items not allowed in curbside recycling

This information is from a recent email from Natalie Anderson, a student at SIUE. Please join her email list  at anderson13nat@gmail.com to stay informed. TerraCycle is a highly-awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. TerraCycle is widely considered the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of “non-recyclable,” post-consumer waste. I do not work for TerraCycle; I am simply a student that has signed up to collect items (any individual, club, or school can!) to keep out of landfills.

She will be at the Land of Goshen Community Market in Edwardsville to collect your items on:

  • July 18
  • August 29
  • September 19
  • October 17

Things to keep in mind:

  • Participating is a Win-Win: Shipping and upcycling/recycling these items, which get excluded from our curbside recycling programs, into school supplies, gardening tools, park benches, etc. is a free service TerraCycle can provide through company sponsors, who also donate about 2 cents for every item we send in to our preferred non-profit (The Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville).
  • The plastic caps on bottles, even products that have a recycling triangle symbol, are not recycled by most curbside recycling programs, because they are often made out of slightly different plastics than the bottles themselves. I can send any type of cap into TerraCycle, so please remove those and collect them for me.
  • The only “Brigades” (groups of items that each have a sponsor) that are limited to a certain brand are the Brita and PUR item Brigades. For example, even though CLIF Bar sponsors the Bar Wrapper Brigade, you can send in Nutrigrain and Rice Krispy wrappers (any foil-lined wrapper).
  • Dropping off one big bag or box is perfectly fine, because I have to sort the items myself before shipping them anyway.
  • Items that once contained food need to be rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry before you store and bring them to me. This is a TerraCycle requirement and also helps me keep my shipment boxes leak-free & odor-free, in my small college apartment.
  • Volunteers Needed: I collect items for 14 TerraCycle Brigades, but there are about 20 other Brigades we could be collecting for! As just one graduate student, I don’t have the space in my apartment to store more items. I will also be graduating from SIUE May of next year (and probably moving) and could use a volunteer to learn more about the (really simple) process of collecting items for TerraCycle. I have just started making this a community effort and would hate for Edwardsville to suddenly be without a coordinator to help them pool their TerraCycle items together next summer.

If you have cardboard moving boxes to get rid of (even if it’s just one or two), I will gladly take them off your hands to be able to ship these items into our closest TerraCycle warehouse.
Also, if anyone would like to donate a stable folding table to this cause, I would be greatly appreciative. I have a table cloth, so it doesn’t matter if the table is scratched, torn, stained, etc.


Thank You,
Your Local TerraCycle Coordinator & Environment Enthusiast
Natalie Anderson, anderson13nat@gmail.com TerraCycle Acepted Items Handout

PS: Here are some great videos explaining what this is all about:

A recycling message from the curbside program in Edwardsville (Republic Services) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EpTIP9TbD0&list=PLQ8LCwcN1NaIpqk59wwDwYVGl-WtXwLiZ
How did TerraCycle get its start and why is it a growing success? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PybhWsK34_w

Why can we send these “garbage items” to TerraCycle to be upcycled & recycled for free? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL8QCenmMYA
What does TerraCycle do with these items? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ib6ouWyRmE

Published by Collection Connection

Collection Connection is your go-to website when you are ready to unload something you’ve been collecting but just don’t know where to go with it. The concept is simple: connect organizations who are holding a collection drive with people who can do the collecting. Old cell phones, prom dresses, Christmas lights, pet supplies… the list goes on and on. Instead of adding your stuff to a landfill, check Collection Connection for a drop off location where your items can be recycled, repurposed or reused!

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