We turn garbage into incredible products, transforming the way we think of waste and what can be done with it.
TerraCycle is at the forefront of the recycling industry in developing custom solutions for hard-to-recycle waste streams; diverting millions of pounds a year from landfills into cool and sustainable alternatives. We specialize in collecting post-consumer waste, which we view as an untapped resource. Our R&D Department has developed a number of unique processes to recycle the waste we collect, with the most efficient converting waste into customer plastic pellets. These pellets can be used by an assortment of plastic manufacturers to make products ranging from industrial products like pallets and composite lumber, to kid-friendly products like flying disks and chip clips. (picture link)
There are a number of steps involved with recycling post-consumer waste collected through our Brigade programs before they can be made into plastic pellets (picture link)
Shred the post-consumer waste into smaller particles in a large industrial shredder. The waste has to be shredded into smaller pieces so it can evenly process into plastic pellets. Shredding also has the added benefit of separating the plastic and the food that might still be in the product. The plastic moves into the next step and the food is composted.
If the waste has a high level of food or liquid mixed in the stream, it’s next sent to be washed. In the washing process, all of the food and liquid that’s stuck to the plastic is removed. Next it will be dried through an industrial drier to remove any moisture. We will not be able to process the plastic if it has any food or liquid attached to it.
Finally, the clean shreds are sent to be pelletized where they are melted down, extruded into long strips of plastic then cut into small plastic pellets. The plastic pellets can be used to make a wide array of products, giving it a new life and purpose rather than being sent to landfills.
TerraCycle stands out amongst other recyclers in that we provide a consistent pellet from order to order. Since we have a consistent inbound of items like juice pouches and chip bags, we will be able to anticipate what the final specifications will be for pellets that we produce; with no lot-to-lot variability. We also have the capability to customize the pellets to meet any specific requirements to make simple to complex products. Our goal is to provide pellets to a company that can use it as a sustainable alternative to virgin pellets, by using less crude oil and reusing a material that would normally be sent to landfill.
TerraCycle currently works with a number of companies throughout the country that utilize our pellets as a sustainable alternative to using virgin pellets. By using our material, companies can produce a product made out of post-consumer waste, promoting awareness of the overconsumption of virgin plastics. Our pellets are used to make a range of products in both the industrial and commercial industries.
We work closely with our brands to develop closed-loop solutions for their waste. Once a brand has a product in mind, the first step is for our R&D Department to review the pellet formulation a manufacturer is using to produce the product. Then they will reformulate the brand’s waste to match as close as possible to the original formulation. If all goes well, we will be able substitute the virgin resin for TerraCycle’s custom formulation or to blend them together to produce a hybrid product. We’ve had a lot of success in the past producing closed loop products like pallets, playgrounds, ashtrays, and more. We’re always open to make innovative and exciting products for our brands to show how it’s possible to move away from virgin resin to use TerraCycle’s recycled pellets.