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Trying to Recycle Everything Comes at a High Cost

Trying to recycle everything—including hard-to-recycle items like coffee pods and cigarette butts—can come at a high cost... Businesses like TerraCycle act like a go-between, approaching companies making hard-to-recycle products and asking them to pay the cost of recycling. In return consumers can send the products off to a private recycling plant for free, and they feel good about it.

Recyclables Sent By Schools Used To Make Lots Of Useful Items

Schools create quite a lot of waste products that is thoughtlessly gotten rid of when it can be recycled. An exceptional recycling strategy labeled as TerraCycle has brought about a huge change in the recycling behavior of schools in the United States. This program takes the initiative to recover food packaging goods that are difficult to recycle and in addition pays schools for their hard work. As per a MichigansThumb.com report, the program awards points to schools dependant upon the quantity of recyclable goods delivered to TerraCycle. The arrival of single-serve food products has inflated the quantity of disposable waste and led to a rising pile of harmful waste material in landfills.

Mille Lacs Academy - Get aboard the TerraCycle

It’s not often that an educator finds inspiration on the back of a juice box, but that’s what happened to Tim Sarych. Sarych is a special education management aid at the Mille Lacs Academy School. Sarych read about the TerraCycle, a recycling program for schools, on a box of Capri Sun juice. After a bit of research, Sarych registered the MLA with the TerraCycle program. “I knew this was a fundraiser that our school could benefit from,” he said. “It helps the environment, and it engages the students in a positive community activity.” Sarych started the project last winter and slowly introduced the plan to his co-workers. In the months that followed he brought the program up to full speed. Students and staff collect candy wrappers, cheese packaging, used printer cartridges, coffee bags, empty drink pouches, old cell phones, cereal bags and a long list of other would-be trash. They box the recyclables up and send them to TerraCycle and receive between 2 cents and a dollar an item. TerraCycle also pays the shipping costs. The material collected by TerraCycle is turned into garbage cans, school supplies, playground equipment, flower pots, back packs, and a wide variety of other items. Students and staff are bringing packaging from home as well as collecting them at the school. “Two cents an item doesn’t sound like a lot,” Sarych said. “But it adds up quickly.” To date the program has brought in about $200 dollars and kept 61 boxes of waste out of the local landfills. “Throwing away a candy wrapper is like throwing away money,” Sarych said. For more information go to TerraCycle.net, or call Tim Sarych at (320) 532-6848. Photos by Rob Passons.

Area schools participating in TerraCycle recycling program

With the wide variety of individual-size packaging for food products, creating a portable lunch that will please youngsters’ tastebuds is easier than ever. However, it also causes more waste, which leads to fuller wastebaskets, and eventually, fuller landfills. That’s where the program TerraCycle comes in. The company, headquartered in New Jersey, collects difficult-to-recycle food packaging and turns it into extra money for schools. Three area schools currently are participating in this program: Bad Axe Elementary, Owendale-Gagetown Area Schools and Our Lady of Lake Huron Catholic School in Harbor Beach.