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Home Depot and Petco Targeted for Terracycle’s Newest Recycling Efforts

Inspired green progress continues to be made by Terracycle – the company that first made fertilizer from worm poop and tote bags from food wrappers.  The next initiative by this innovative company is to place recycling bins outside Petco and Home Depot, OfficeMax, and BestBuy stores to collect items that were normally not even considered as recyclable materials.

Home Depot collection bins will take caulking tubes, paint brushes, saw blades, nursery pots and furnace filters – some of which will be turned into clocks and art, while flimsy plant pots will be turned into sturdier versions that customers actually want.  Petco bins will collect pet food bags and plastic shopping bags – both of which will be recycled into tote bags.

Terracycle plans to have collection bins in 10,000 locations by mid 2010.  Wouldn’t it be nice if other companies started popping up with uses for other things we usually just throw away?   What about a use for old fruit cakes after the holidays?  Or the ubiquitious dry cleaning tags – and coat hangers?

Written by Brenda Keener


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  1. I am torn on upcycling and some of the products that Terracycle makes in the process. Part of me feels like there could be some unintended consequences of these efforts. For instance, making the Capri Sun items into capri sun bags doesn’t make any headway towards eliminating those inefficient items in the first palce. I fear that it doesn’t address (and has the potential to push us a step in the wrong direction)an issue that I find to be the most critical, which is,manufacturers need to stop making products that cannot be continually introduced back into industrial processes. In this sense, upcycling has the potential to reward manufacturers for making items that are an inefficient use of resources. Am I totally off base?

  2. I hear your concern – but at this point in our evolution, people ARE making such products and will continue doing so for quite some time. If something can be done to keep them from going into landfills, I am all for it.

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