Welcome to the latest installment of our “Great question!” series. In this series, we address common questions about TerraCycle and our recycling solutions. 

How do I ship garbage to TerraCycle?

Great question! Before shipping us any garbage, you’ll have to either join a free recycling program or purchase a Zero Waste Box™

Shipping is easy for both free recycling programs and Zero Waste Boxes, but the process is different. 

Shipping for free recycling programs

Once you have joined and been accepted into a free recycling program, you’ll be able to start collecting that program’s items to send to TerraCycle for recycling. Before you begin, read the instructions on the program web page carefully. Some programs have special cleaning or packing instructions.

You can use any sturdy box or receptacle to send in your garbage. We highly recommend reusing a box you have lying around.

As your box fills up, sign in to your TerraCycle account to print your free, prepaid shipping label.

To find it, go to your Profile, then click “Send Us Your Waste.” The list of free recycling programs you participate in will appear. Click “Get Shipping Label” under the program you would like a shipping label for. The label will be emailed to you. (Your download link will expire after 90 days, so we recommend downloading and printing right away.) 

When you have a full box, seal it up with tape, then attach the shipping label. Drop it off at the shipping service indicated on the label. After it arrives at TerraCycle, we’ll #RecycleEverything.

Shipping Zero Waste Boxes

If you buy a Zero Waste Box, shipping couldn’t be easier. Your Zero Waste Box will arrive with the return prepaid shipping label already attached. Fill up the box and seal it by taping the top opening shut. Check the label to find the shipping carrier, then drop off your sealed box at the carrier’s nearest location.

Important shipping guidelines

Follow these guidelines to ensure your shipment reaches us (and that you earn recycling rewards points, if applicable). 

  • We encourage you to ship when your box is full to minimize the transportation carbon footprint. 
  • Our carriers will not accept dripping packages, so please make sure your items are dry. You might need to double-bag some items, such as coffee capsules. (Don’t worry; we’ll recycle the bags too!)
  • Each free recycling program label is unique and can only be used once for one box. 
  • The garbage you collect for each free recycling program must be sent to us with its own respective download label and in its own box. Please do not mix your recycling for different programs in the same box, as each program is structured differently. Keeping program garbage separate helps everything run smoothly and ensures that as many people as possible can use the programs.
  • For free recycling programs, the box you use to ship can be up to 150 lbs and 165 inches in length and girth combined.
  • If you wish to earn TerraCycle Recycling Rewards points, note that some free recycling programs have a minimum weight that shipments must meet to earn points. This information is clearly stated on the program web page. 

Still have questions? Visit the TerraCycle Help Center for more answers or to contact us directly. 

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