What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time


on May 12, 2014

We’re fortunate that our municipality’s solid waste division takes sustainability seriously and has worked hard to close the recycling loop on many different materials. And for what our county can’t handle, there’s TerraCycle.

TerraCycle is a private business that works with non-profits to collect hard-to-recycle items and with other businesses to develop new products from them. An Episcopal congregation on our side of town serves as a TerraCycle collection point. Today we filled our bike baskets with what we couldn’t put into the community recycling stream and rode over to St. Gregory the Great. Ball-point pens? Wine bottle corks, natural and synthetic? Coffee bean bags? They have bins for all those, and much else. The church gets paid by the pound for what it gathers. My friend Andrew, who set it all up, says, “We’re tithing from trash.” I say, “Turn our shed into communion bread.”


shedding style: recycle
destination: TerraCycle

Comments welcome … do you have recycling options for more than steel, paper, glass, and no. 1 and 2 plastics? What would it take for us to develop options?


2 responses to “terracycle-ables

  1. Our council is very good and we can recycle most plastic, all food waste (including bones), garden waste and polystyrene as well as the usual suspects. As a result, when my sister comes to visit, she brings a bag of the plastic and polystyrene she can’t recycle where she lives – there’s nothing like saying it with garbage! Here, chez Snail, we are also good at finding alternative uses for things and so our landfill waste is very small, but even so I think we’d have things that your Terracyle would accept that we currently have to give up on.

  2. revdarkwater says:

    In my (limited) experience, councils in the UK were and are way ahead of most communities in the US. Ours happens to have had leaders alert to the issues … informed by a sense of alarm at the costs of expanding the landfill! TerraCycle is interesting (as well as useful!) … proof, perhaps, of the viability of an ungreedy business model. But I’m coming to see (as doubtless you’d agree) that recycling is a fall-back measure. I’m not ready to go live in a cave yet, however. And I like to pour my ale from a bottle. Though sometimes I trouble myself to homebrew it, and put it there myself (smile).

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