TerraCycle is different from your local kerbside recycler. We develop recycling solutions for waste streams that are not typically locally recyclable.
What makes something locally recyclable depends on whether your local recycling company can make a profit recycling it. If the cost of collecting and processing the waste 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 most rubbish is technically recyclable.
TerraCycle can recycle the hard-to-recycle because we work with brands, retailers, and other stakeholders who fund the recycling process.
Once sorted by category, the different material types are cleaned and then sent to third-party partners to process the materials into usable forms.
For example, metals and aluminum are shredded and smelted into metal sheeting, ingots, or bar stock. Glass is crushed and melted to be used in new glass bottles (if clear), or brick, cement, or concrete applications (if colored). Rubber is generally cryo-milled into a powdered state for flooring applications. Organics are composted or used in industrial and commercial fertilizers.
Plastics are the largest category of material we collect through our programmes. These materials are size-reduced (made smaller by being shredded or ground), then melted and reformatted into pellets, flakes, or a powder format.
Watch this video to see our recycling process in action.