Friday, October 19, 2012

Hallelujah! A solution for all those candy wrappers that will pile up next week!

How many of you dread the candy pile from Halloween? Our little community has some great events for the kids, and the businesses and community are so generous. Which is great.... But we end up with sooo much candy at our house, which means lots and lots of little plastic and waxy wrappers in the garbage for weeks on end.

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to sit at lunch with Albe Zakes, Vice-President of Media Relations for Terracyle, Inc. Much to my joy, I discovered that Terracycle has a solution for all of those candy wrappers.

For those of you who have never heard of Terracycle, they offer a number of collection programs for hard to recycle items, like candy wrappers, juice pouches, permanent markers, and the list goes on. Each of these collection categories has a "Brigade," which you as a recycler can sign up for. (A word of caution and patience, some of these brigades are currently full, but you will be notified when they have an opening.) You collect these items from friends, family, schools, your community organizations, co-workers, and then package them up and send them to Terracycle. Terracycle then in turns gives $.02 per piece to your favorite non-profit group (or you can choose one from their list). They then take those candy wrappers, for instance, and upcycle them into something else, like plastic benches.

Isn't that ingenious? I was inspired by the creativity that evolved into Terracycle. The company started out with one freshman at Princeton University who made fertilizer from worm castings, put it in empty pop bottles, and sold it. If you want a funny and inspiring story, check Terracycle out. Go to for the story.

If you are not able to get into a bridgade right now, you can still start "stock-piling" your materials. Or, if you would rather, contact TriCounty Hazardous Waste & Recycling at 541-506-2636. We can connect you with a Brigade leader in The Dalles who is collecting numerous materials to benefit Colonel Wright Elementary School.

Happy recycling!

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