Non-Recyclable or Hard to Recycle Waste? A Solution that Turns Garbage into New Products.












If your family recycles like mine does, then anything resembling paper, plastic or metal goes into the appropriate recycling bin. However did you know you may be depositing products that cannot be recycled through typical processes? I am guilty of this — I had been mixing in kid food pouches with my regular plastics. Oops!

A solution exists thanks to TerraCycle. It offers national programs (a.k.a Brigades®) to collect previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste like drink pouches, chip bags, and water filters. The waste is then made into new products ranging from recycled park benches to backpacks.

Here’s how this free program works:

Select Your Waste

Complete the free sign up and join as many Brigade programs for which you want to collect. There are currently more than 40 Brigade programs to choose from.

Examples of Brigades

  • Baby Food Pouch Brigade
  • Brita Brigade
  • Candy Wrapper Brigade
  • Cheese Packaging Brigade
  • Dairy Tub Brigade
  • Diaper Packaging Brigade
  • Drink Pouch Brigade
  • GoGo squeeZ Brigade
  • Snack Bag Brigade
  • Writing Instrument Brigade

Collect and Send

Collect your waste in plastic trash bags. When you’ve collected enough waste, simply download a shipping label from the site. Most of the Brigades offer free shipping. Once TerraCycle receives your waste, you’ll be credited with any TerraCycle points that you may have earned for your waste. You can redeem TerraCycle points for a variety of charitable gifts or for a payment of $0.01 per point to the non-profit organization or school of your choice. And the best part? The waste is made into new products.

The TerraCycle program is ideal not only at home but also in schools and offices. Make it a joint effort and encourage others to recycle these typically hard-to-recycle products. It’s also a great way to teach children how to be more environmentally conscious. Our efforts will help to keep waste out of our landfills to create a cleaner world.

For more information and to sign up, please visit


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