How to Recycle Just About Anything

how to recycle just about anything

how to recycle just about anything

Although we’ve made great strides in making more products recyclable and eco friendly, there is still so much waste that ends up in landfill.

But it doesn’t have to.

What if if can’t go into your recycling bin?

If you can’t recycle it in your home recycling bin, check out Recycling Near You for all sorts of waste products that can be recycled. Some of the things you can recycle include:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Aluminum
  • Batteries
  • Cardboard
  • Printer cartridges
  • Electronics
  • Mobile phones
  • Food scraps
  • Garden cuttings
  • Glass
  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Paper
  • Plastic bags
  • Steel
  • Tyres

Other ways to recycle – TerraCycle

I’ve recently discovered a recycling company that will recycle even more waste. They’re called TerraCycle, and they recycle stuff you didn’t even know could be recycled!

They operate in more than 20 countries, including Australia. TerraCycle has partnered with individual collectors, major companies, retailers, manufacturers, local councils and small businesses to divert all sorts of waste from landfill.

TerraCycle has three major collection platforms: Free Recycling Programs, Zero Waste Box and Large-Scale recycling.

Free Recycling Programs 

TerraCycle’s free recycling programs partners with brands, manufacturers and retailers to help collect and recycle hard-to-recycle waste. The programs are offered around the world.

You can join as many as you like. To give you an idea, here in Australia, there are free recycling programs for beauty products, kids pouch and snack packaging, L’Occitane products, Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules and heaps more.

Choose the program you’d like to be a part of, start collecting and then send TerraCycle your waste.

Zero Waste Box Platform

terracycle coffee capsule recycling boxAre you aiming to go zero waste at work or at home?  Not sure what it even means? TerraCycle defines zero waste as living and working without generating any kind of waste.

“All recyclable materials are recycled, all organic materials are composted, and items that cannot be recycled or composted are avoided and substituted with waste-free alternatives.”

To help achieve this, TerraCycle has the Zero Waste Boxes. These boxes recycle all sorts of rubbish from coffee capsules to laboratory waste.

Choose your waste stream, buy the right sized box, collect your waste and then send it to TerraCycle. You can buy the zero waste boxes through Australia Post or Officeworks.

Large Scale Recycling

TerraCycle also does large scale recycling. Some of the options are:

  • industrial recycling
  • office waste recycling
  • closed loop recycling

Closed loop recycling is where waste is upcycled and made into new products.

There really is no reason to be putting your rubbish into landfill with so many options around for recycling!

Image: Depositphoto

Know of other ways to recycle, reuse or upcycle garbage? Let us know!

Eco Tip – Recycle Soft Plastics at Coles Supermarkets in Australia

We can recycle heaps of stuff in Australia – aluminium cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass, hard plastic, paper. But did you know that you can recycle soft plastics at Coles supermarkets around Australia? All those plastic bags that won’t go into your recycling bin are now being turned into outdoor furniture, playgrounds and signs for communities and schools. How good is that?

You can pop any of the following plastics into a REDcycle bin in your local Coles, and they’ll be recycled:

  • plastic shopping bags
  • bread bags
  • frozen food bags
  • rice and pasta bags
  • biscuit wrappers
  • lolly packets
  • cereal box liners
  • fruit and vegetable bags
  • old green bags
  • newspaper and magazine wrappers
  • any soft and flexible plastics that you can scrunch up in your hand!
  • There are REDcycle bins in over 470 Coles supermarkets throughout Australia. See the list of Coles supermarkets with REDcycle bins here: http://redcycle.net.au/redcycle/locator
Recycling soft plastics at Coles Supermarkets

Ten of the biggest Australian food companies, including Birdseye, Arnotts, Cadbury,Tip Top and Sunrice, have teamed up to take responsibility for their product packaging, and they’re covering the costs of collection and recycling of all these plastics.

In just six months from December 2012 to June 2013, consumers recycled more than 82 tonnes of soft plastic – that’s 20.5 million pieces of plastic!

All this plastic goes to Replas in Melbourne, who turn all these plastics into products as diverse as outdoor furniture, bollards, fencing and playgrounds. All their plastic waste is collected in Australia.

If you don’t have a REDcycle bin near you, you can even post it to:

RED Group

Att: Plastic Packaging Recycling

80C Maffra Street

Coolaroo Vic 3048

For more information, have a look at this video from Replas on the ‘Pull Through Effect’ and have a look at the kinds of products that can be made from recycled plastics.