Think you can’t recycle it in New Jersey? TerraCycle Home begs to differ


TRENTON — Based in the capital city of New Jersey, TerraCycle has been on a mission to try to recycle non-recyclable materials in the United States and 20 other countries over the past two decades.

But a new initiative has the company thinking small – for now.

Founder and CEO Tom Szaky said he hopes the new Welcome service, available to residents of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset and Union counties as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania, will also go global.

Szaky said the idea is for people to be able to rid their homes of things they can’t put in blue bins for local pickup, all without going beyond their front steps.

He talks about items like cosmetics, eyewear, pet food wrappers, personal protective equipment, and even one of the most traditional forms of trash, cigarette butts.

Subscribers can sign up to receive the service once or twice a month.

“We send you a trash can that you can drop on your sidewalk, and then you can pick up some TerraCycle Zero Waste bags, each for different waste streams, and start collecting and recycling those materials,” Szaky said. “Once full, you put it in your TerraCycle Home box on your front porch, request a pickup, and then we pick it up right at your home and recycle everything inside.”

As Szaky says, TerraCycle Home aims to bridge the gaps between what residents think is easily recyclable and what isn’t, and between what city utilities think they can recycle cheaply and what they don’t. can’t.

Really in the world, almost everything is technically recyclable. What tends to make our aluminum cans highly recyclable in our local recycling systems is that waste processors can make money from it,” he said. “We need to make recycling as simple as possible. People are very busy, there’s a lot going on that we need to think about beyond recycling, and so our job is to try to make it as convenient as possible, as easy to use.

A statement from TerraCycle indicates that a portion of the items collected will be recycled into items such as benches that can be donated to parks in participating communities.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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