What makes something curbside recyclable depends on whether your local recycling service can make a profit from recycling it. If the cost of collecting and processing the trash is lower than the value of the resulting raw material, it will likely be locally recyclable. If the costs are higher, then it likely won’t be. 

The good news is that at TerraCycle, we recycle the unrecyclable. Here’s how TerraCycle is different from your curbside recycling service.

Curbside recycling 

The most common and accepted items that you can put in your blue recycling bin are paper and cardboard, glass, metals like aluminum, and some rigid plastics. Out of the seven types of plastic, typically only those two are curbside recyclable; resin codes #1 and #2 are the most commonly accepted plastics. . Check with your curbside recycling service to ensure you know exactly which plastics they can recycle. You can also check out this blog to learn more about these types of plastics. 

For everything else your local curbside recycling services doesn’t accept, there’s TerraCycle! 


TerraCycle is different from your local curbside recycler. We’ve developed ways to collect and recycle hard-to-recycle trash that traditional curbside recycling services do not generally accept, including cigarette butts, toys, mascara wands, and much more! 

We’re able to recycle the “unrecyclable” because we work with brands, retailers, and other stakeholders who fund the recycling process. We offer both free and paid solutions to recycle the unrecyclable. Our free recycling programs are free and available for anyone to use, and you can #RecycleEverything with Zero Waste Boxes

Learn more about how we are Eliminating the Idea of Waste® and start recycling at terracycle.com 

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