Upcycling is the way to go nowadays. You see it everywhere. People are upcycling clothing, furniture and garage sale finds galore.
But imagine if you could upcycle your “food wrappers”. What a great concept! Imagine how much LESS we would send to our landfills!
North Americans generate trash at an astonishing rate of 4.6 pounds per day per person, which translates to 251 million tons (228 million metric tons) per year. That’s crazy! Wouldn’t it be great if someone could figure out a way to cut down on that waste?
Well, international upcycling company, TERRACYCLE INC. has done just that. You send them your wrappers, bottles, sharpies, cigarette butts and more and they’ll upcycle it for you into very cool household products like water bottles, waste paper baskets, chairs, toilet seats, picnic tables and many more items! Plus they will pay you for it!
I recently interviewed JAY REYES, Public Relations Manager of the Toronto, ON office of TerraCycle International. Here’s our interview:
1. Can you tell me in a few sentences what the focus of your business is? TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling company that takes difficult-to-recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. It repurposes the waste into new materials and products that are available for purchase online. The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade® programs, which pay individuals and groups for every piece of waste they collect and return. To learn more, visit www.terracycle.ca
2. Who is your market? Anyone in the nation can sign-up with TerraCycle Canada. Individuals, households, organizations or charities- can all participate under our brigades systems that provide easy solutions for all the hard-to-recycle waste created every day.
3. How long have you been in business? TerraCycle has been operating since 2001, however, in Canada, since 2009.
4. Why did you start this business? TerraCycle’s mission is to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”, with that said, our goal is provide solutions for materials that are not easily recycled and our ending up in landfills every day.
5. How do you think your eco business has or will impact your community or is helping people leave less of a footprint on our planet? TerraCycle has already kept more than two billion units of waste from going to the landfill, and with its partners, dispersed more than $8.8 million to charity through its various Brigade® programs.
6. Do you have a special promotion going on right now? Can our Greenkick readers get a special discount if they order from you after reading this article? Currently we have 5 contests on the go and a brand new innovative program for anyone in Canada that would like to recycle their old coffee machines (any condition) and receive a $20 rebate on a new Keurig machine. Simple log on to http://www.terracycle.ca/en-CA/pages/incentives-and-contests.html and browse around for all the freebies, contests and giveaways. TerraCycle will also send 10 bracelets and 10 upcycled pencil cases to the first 10 people who sign-up for any of our contests and share it on their social networks.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Wow, what a great company and concept! I was so inspired by this interview, that I have decided to get involved with one of Terra Cycle’s Brigade programs. I’m sure my kids would love to help me with this! Consider doing one of the brigades for your school as your school will make money from what you collect!