Progress? (Week 5 is in the jar)

(Week 5 is in the jar)

As I mentioned in Week #1, much of what a person can put out for curbside recycling varies from town to town. We found that our city (Covington, KY) takes all plastics labeled #1 – #7. Cincinnati, OH (15 minutes away) does not take #5 and #7. BUT, they do have a school that does terracycling.

So, what is terracycling? No it isn’t a new form of bicycling but rather a an opportunity to recycle materials that often are not acceptable in traditional city recycling programs. TerraCycle is a private U.S. small business headquartered in Trenton, NJ. It specializes in making consumer products from pre- and post-consumer materials, which is often called upcycling, or reusing waste materials that are otherwise difficult to recycle.

TerraCycle arranges with local schools and non-profits to collect items like candy wrappers, snack bags, cereal box liners, wax paper, pens, markers, glue bottles, and toiletries like tooth paste, deodorant, and beauty products. In exchange, the school receives money from TerraCycle, It’s both a benefit to the environment and the school.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In the Cincinnati area there are several non-profit organizations that offer TerraCycling. One that offers a broad spectrum of recyclable items is Pleasant Ridge Montessori, Click here to see a full description with photos of what can be dropped off.

So… what that means for me is that my Cincinnati friends and I trade garbage. They bring me their #5 & #7 plastics and I take items that can be terracycled to them. Pictured here are the terracycle items that I’ve collected since the beginning of Lent: (reading from left to right and top to bottom) snack bags, snack wrappers, candy wrappers, wax box liners, usable shoes, pens, zip lock bags, and toiletries. This hasn’t made a big dent in my garbage level (except for the shoes) but it has made me feel better about not wasting these items by adding them to a landfill. (Note the liturgically correct purple background. 🙂