We’re often asked why Zero Waste Boxes cost money while the national programs are generally free to consumers.
First, it’s important to highlight that no recycling is free. Someone is paying somewhere along the line.
Your municipal recycling is paid by your taxes (or directly by you) and mitigated by any revenue the recyclers can earn from the items they collect, which is why you can only put items in your curbside bin that recyclers can make a profit on.
Our “free” programs are sponsored by brands willing to pay for the cost of collecting and recycling those products.
The cost of a Zero Waste Box™ reflects the production of the box; transportation to you and then back to our recycling facilities; and the actual cost of sorting, cleaning, processing, and recycling the contents into raw formats. Check out this video overview of what happens to the items you send in a Zero Waste Box.
We collect a broad range of items, which could be comprised of multiple materials (different types of plastic, metals, fabrics, etc.), so there is a lot more manual sorting and pre-processing that happens compared to the process for curbside collections.
Whether you take the time to recycle, you’ve joined a local clean-up group, or even go as far as living a zero-waste lifestyle, thank you!
4 thoughts on “Why do we charge for Zero Waste Boxes when other programs are free?”
Totally understand this whole process. I just wish it were cheaper so more people would participate.
Thank you for your feedback! In addition to Zero Waste Boxes, we also offer free recycling programs here: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades.
I’ve been a supporter and buyer of the Zero Waste Boxes for some time now and don’t mind paying but it is extremely frustrating that the free programs run through schools, business and city municipalities earn those clients “points” for future efforts but those of us that pay directly out of our pockets, get nothing. No access to a reward or point system at all. At the very least it would be nice to get a $5 off coupon from time to time, to purchase a new box.
Hi Kathy! Anyone can recycle through our free recycling programs! You can search our programs here: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades. We will share your feedback about reward systems for Zero Waste Boxes with our team.