Share it! Science : Recycle "Un-Recyclable" Items and Earn $ for Your School or Non-Profit!

Recycle "Un-Recyclable" Items and Earn $ for Your School or Non-Profit!

Many people tend to think about recycling and conservation a little bit more when Earth Day rolls around. Unfortunately, a lot of the waste we create isn't easily recycled. What if we could prevent some of that waste from entering the waste stream at all? It is possible, and you can even raise some money for your school or favorite charity in the process!

Read on to find out what I mean, and even enter a giveaway to win some cool recycled and upcycled items!

This post contains affiliate links, please see disclosures for more information. 

TerraCycle is a company that has been helping to limit the trash headed into the waste stream since 2001.  They partner with other companies to provide waste collection programs, and reward you, the trash collectors. That means that you could collect things like baby food pouches, snack bags, energy bar wrappers, toothpaste tubes, and a whole lot more of those items that you can't otherwise recycle, print out a shipping label and send them to TerraCycle for free. TerraCycle and the companies sponsoring the programs you participate in then reward your school or favorite charity by paying you to collect these items.

These "un-recyclables" are then upcycled, reused, or recycled into other products. Pretty cool, huh? This video sums up the process:

As you can imagine, these programs are really popular, so if you want to participate, you should hop on over the TerraCycle website and create an account. Then join the programs you are interested in and get on the wait list for any that aren't currently accepting new collection sites. Two that I recently joined that are (as of this blog post) accepting waste are GoGo squeeZ, which accepts all squeezable plastic snack pouches and caps, and Colgate, which accepts toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and caps, floss containers and the packaging from these oral care products.

Alternatively, some programs will send you a collection envelope to fill up. Two of these that I like are for Late July snack packaging and Buddy Fruits squeezable fruit and veggie pouches. For help with any of the recycling programs or for more information check out the resources here.

If you want to try recycling these items by upcycling them into new products yourself, TerraCycle has a whole bunch of DIY project ideas. I'm sure by perusing their site, you'll find something you want to make, or be inspired to create your own design. Check them out here. Then grab some "un-recyclables" and get designing and engineering yourself!

You might also be interested in two books by members of the TerraCycle crew: Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle, and ReMake It!: Recycling Projects from the Stuff You Usually Scrap.

If you're interested in conservation and recycling, you may want to visit my other posts: 20 Earth Friendly Ideas for Earth Day and Every Day and "Here Comes the Garbage Barge" Inspired Landfill Model.

Now for some fun! Enter below to win one cool upcycled drink pouch pencil case, and enough recycled TerraCycle bracelets, and recycled TerraCycle pens for your class, homeschool group, or household (as supplies last). There will be 8 winners in this giveaway that begins on April 21st, 2017 and ends April 28th, 2017 at midnight, EST. Open to US residents only. Winners will be notified via e-mail and announced here on the blog.

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