Many people know recycling is important when it comes to traditional papers, plastics, and metals. However, there’s a lot that can be recycled and often gets trashed instead. Implementing strong recycling programs that work for cities and facilities can contribute to a healthy, united community, preventing litter and supporting the economy by creating jobs.

Most of you know TerraCycle as the company on a mission to recycle the non-recyclable through brand-sponsored recycling programs and our all-in-one Zero Waste Box™ system. With the creation of our Regulated Waste division in 2017, we’ve been able to expand our offerings to help schools, municipalities, and facilities across the US recycle Universal Waste.

What is Universal Waste?

Universal and Hazardous Waste is commonly generated by a wide variety of establishments and spans common items such as fluorescent lamps, batteries, and more. Because these items contain mercury and other potentially harmful elements, their manner of disposal is regulated by the EPA, locations that produce them are subject to a fine for non-compliance.

Our Regulated Waste division handles these categories of waste according to these guidelines.

Here are some of the services we offer municipalities and facilities to help keep their operations running smoothly and improve their processes!


Every facility has a different need for recycling. These return-by-UPS EasyPak recycling containers provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and safe turnkey solution for lamps, batteries, ballasts, e-waste, aerosols, and more! 

One of our most recent additions are the EasyPaks for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as single-use gloves and masks. So many businesses use these today to safely stay open and protect customers and staff.

All containers come lined with VaporShield® technology to aid in the prevention of lamp breakage and capture of mercury vapors for additional safety and protection.  

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Bulb Eater® 

A machine designed to help cut labor and recycling costs, save storage space, and improve workplace safety, the Bulb Eater lamp crushing machine turns spent fluorescent lamps into 100% recyclable material while capturing over 99.99% of the vapors released. 

This is beneficial to the user and the environment because the mercury vapors are not released, and therefore not breathed in or emitted into the atmosphere. Each 55-gallon container can hold up to 1,350 4-foot fluorescent lamps, which helps with storage and handling.

Providing safe, fast, and efficient lamp disposal at a fraction of the cost, this machine is ideal for larger facilities that accumulate a lot of spent lamps throughout the year. 

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If you aren’t sure about which recycling program is best for your facility, the CustomPak is the way to go. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to recycle small shipment quantities of various Universal Waste items at the same time. 

Mix and match ANY combination of large or small CustomPak boxes to fit a standard pallet. Once the pallet is full, and at your convenience, you can schedule a pickup with freight of your choice and won’t have to wait weeks for it. 

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Bulk Pickup

Once you’ve started a recycling program, collected, or boxed up large quantities of Universal Waste, it’s time to get it out of your storage, and let us handle the rest! 

Recycling services and transportation are available throughout the continental United States to help your municipality or facility properly recycle lamps, ballasts, batteries, and electronics. We just ask that these items are palletized and shrink-wrapped before pickup. 

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Cigarette Recycling

Did you know cigarettes are the most littered item in the world? 4.5 trillion are tossed annually, at best ending up in dumpsters and landfills or tossed as litter on shorelines, parks, and sidewalks across the US. Not only is cigarette litter an eyesore at any establishment, but a source of plastic pollution and chemicals that leach into the ground and water supply!

Our first-of-its-kind Cigarette Waste Recycling Program is free to sign up and used by businesses and municipalities across the country, often in combination with our specially designed receptacles, to allow employees, staff, and customers to recycle their butts. Add value to your building and donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful for every pound you recycle.

We are on a mission to recycle 500 million by 2025; to date, we have collected over 185 million!  When TerraCycle receives your cigarette discards, they’re cleaned and separated by material. Tobacco, paper, and organics are composted, and the plastic filters are recycled into pellets, which are turned into new products like ashtrays, shipping pallets, and park benches. 

Every Little Bit Counts

Creating a new sustainability plan for a city or facility can seem like a significant undertaking. It’s our goal to make the right thing as easy and rewarding as possible! It’s never been easier to start with the recycling solution that works best for you, and with our Customer Support team and free resources, we’re with you at every step.

Create buzz around your initiatives to drive engagement and encourage the community to join you. If you’re an individual or community group that wants to see more recycling in your city, school, or workplace, let them know about the resources available and tell them to start! 

Our cost-saving solutions are designed to help any city, building, or school take steps toward building a more sustainable world for their business and community, and when used in combination with TerraCycle’s recycling programs and Zero Waste Boxes make for a comprehensive program peers will look up to.

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