The summer months are a great time of year with no school, warm weather, and plenty of time for vacations and parties.  While TerraCycle greatly emphasizes school-driven collections, just because classes have ceased, it doesn’t mean that the garbage dilemma has come to a halt!  In fact, between summer vacationing, gatherings among family and friends, and the convenience of packaged consumer goods, summer trash is more of an issue than ever!  Be sure to enjoy your summer break without taking a break from collecting!  Spend the next few months increasing your Brigade collections by focusing on community based collections and earn extra money for your favorite charity or non-profit!

First things first, before retiring your child’s backpack for the summer, thoroughly clean it out.  Check for writing instruments, tape dispensers, or other packaging that TerraCycle collects.  Elmer’s, Scotch, PaperMate, and Sharpie have all partnered with TerraCycle to help keep used school supplies out of landfills.  Encourage your child’s friends’ parents to do the same.  Kick start summer with cleaning up after the school year!

Even though schools are closed, there are plenty of other opportunities to target large groups of kids during the summer.  Summer camps go through a great number of packaged foods, drink pouches, bottled drinks, and more every week.  Initiate collections at all types of camps, incorporating social responsibility into every camp-goer’s summer vacation!

1. What’s summer without a little baseball?  With competition already on little-leaguers’ minds, institute team collections.  Sport teams guzzle down bundles of water bottles and enjoy packaged half-time snacks, while concession stands sell consumer packaged goods to spectators.  Many of the items consumed have packaging that can be sent to TerraCycle for upcycling.  Set league-wide collection contests into motion to see which team can collect the most waste and then collectively send in your stockpile.

2. Local Fourth of July celebrations provide a terrific opportunity to collect.  Many towns have Fourth of July firework displays where attendees often bring picnic baskets filled with several items that TerraCycle accepts such as chip bags, Solo cups and Capri Sun drink pouches. Talk to the event organizers ahead of time to see if you can put out collection bins, or even have a table explaining your efforts.  With enough time, you can also notify the local paper that there will be a recycling program in place.

3. On an individual level, be sure to collect your upcycle-able items at social gatherings hosted at your home.  Prior to the party, let friends and neighbors know there will be recycling bins in place for typically non-recyclable items. Encourage them to bring empty packaging from home so it is kept out of the landfill and you can increase your collections.  While sipping lemonade and snacking on chips let your friends and families know about the benefits of sending TerraCycle hard-to-recycle waste. You can even become a resource for trash after the party.

4. Lastly, the summer is the perfect time to establish a community recycling initiative.  Make use of local stores, businesses, or municipal buildings as collection spots. Consider setting up collection boxes for chip bags, drink pouches, candy wrappers and other TerraCycle accepted items. Talk to local leaders and business owners to help spread the world. This is a great way to involve the community in working towards a unified recycling goal.

Be sure to take advantage of the summer specific recycling opportunities just as you would during the school year.  Become your community’s chief recycling aficionado and obtain a loyal bunch of garbage collecting groupies this summer!

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