For over 20 years, TerraCycle has been an international leader in sustainability solutions. We’ve developed first-of-their-kind solutions to recycle the unrecyclable—waste streams that aren’t typically curbside recyclable. 

We offer free and paid recycling solutions for your unrecyclable trash; sometimes, people wonder why some of our offerings are free and others aren’t. Here’s everything you need to know! 

How can I recycle with TerraCycle?

Learn about the other ways we’re working to eliminate the idea of waste.

How are free recycling programs free? 

Our free recycling programs are sponsored by brands and retailers around the world, so you can recycle hard-to-recycle items for free. It’s a way for stakeholders to take voluntary responsibility for this important externality.

Why do Zero Waste Boxes cost money? 

Zero Waste Boxes are our paid solution to recycle things you can’t recycle through local curbside services. You can recycle almost any type of trash, from coffee capsules to complex beauty waste. The cost of a Zero Waste Box reflects the production of the box; shipping to you and then back to our recycling facilities; and the actual cost of sorting, cleaning, processing, and recycling the box and its contents.

You can pick the perfect box for your needs, making it simple to #RecycleEverything.

Check out this video overview of how we process the items you send in a Zero Waste Box

Why isn’t all recycling free?

It costs money to pick up and transport waste and process items into raw material. Your municipal recycling is paid by your taxes (or directly by you) and mitigated by any revenue the recyclers can earn from the resulting material, which is why you can only put items in your curbside bin that recyclers can make a profit on.

TerraCycle is different from your local curbside recycler. We develop first-of-their-kind solutions to  recycle the unrecyclable (items that aren’t typically recyclable curbside) because we work with brands, retailers, and other stakeholders who fund the recycling process. The good news is that most trash can be technically recycled—practical recyclability all comes down to the underlying business model. TerraCycle offers free and paid solutions to help everyone, including offices, schools, and individuals, to #RecycleEverything.

4 thoughts on “Why are TerraCycle programs free but Zero Waste Boxes have a cost?

  1. J’ai des lames de rasoir Gillette et les bonbonnes, comment faire pour les recyclés.
    J’ai des bouchons de lièges(vins) comment faire pour les recyclés.

  2. Hello, I have been told about your company a few times from our sonsumers. I am curious as to what an estimated cost would be for a company to help recycle a three ply bag. Can our consumers who buy our product send the bag straight to you? How would this work overall. I would need a rough estimate on this before I go any further, but I’m interested.
    Thank you.

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