“Profiles in Environmentalism” is a recurring segment on our blog where we shine a light on the dedicated people who are working to preserve the world around them. Big or small, local or national, every environmental organization works towards the same goal: providing a greener world for future generations. That includes TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that is revolutionizing recycling through a variety of ways, including Zero Waste Boxes.
For Veronica Rajadnya, what’s most rewarding about working for an innovative recycling company is that it brings people together.
The numbers say it all.
To date, over $60 million people in 20 countries have helped to collect and recycle enough waste to raise over $15 million for charities around the world.
That achievement can be partly attributed to TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box platform, which allows you to recycle almost any type of waste, including art supplies, coffee capsules, plastic cups and more.
“In theory – and what we try to really convey – is that there is no such thing as waste. That waste is a human concept and there is no waste in nature. We are eliminating the idea of waste, and I think that Zero waste Boxes allow consumers on every level to really kind of get involved in that.”
Veronica Rajadnya I Publicist at TerraCycle
The Zero Waste Boxes are one of many collection platforms offered by TerraCycle.
Zero Waste Boxes are a customizable platform where individuals, businesses and larger organizations can recycle pretty much anything.
Types of Zero Waste Boxes
TerraCycle offers many types of Zero Waste boxes, including:
- B2B Boxes: Designed to collect waste that is commonly found in your facilities, manufacturing sites and offices.
- Category Separation Boxes: Each box is specific to a distinct waste stream and is the cleanest option.
- No Separation Boxes: All categories of waste are accepted without the need to sort or separate.
- Room Separation Boxes: Each box is specific to materials found in a certain room, such as a bathroom or a bedroom. It’s a little more expensive because, not only can it hold more stuff, but there is the additional cost to separate the materials on TerraCycle’s end.
- Zero Waste Bags: Used to collect and recycle almost any type of household waste.
“We’ve got a Zero Waste Box for action figures, we’ve got a Zero Waste Box for aluminum cans, we have pallet-sized Zero Waste Boxes for plastic cups, for batteries, all sorts of things,” Rajadnya said.
Zero Waste Boxes launched in 2014 and they have grown considerably since then. The boxes, which can be placed anywhere, are mostly used by businesses, including large retailers like Staples.
Staples’ Zero Waste Box program includes selling individual boxes on their website, so businesses that patronize Staples can buy the boxes through there.
But aside from Staples and other businesses, Zero Waste Boxes are popping up in other places. Some schools have even received grants to participate in the program.
“It definitely does help to have Zero Waste Boxes in a high-traffic area like a school,” Rajadnya said, “and it also does help to have young people exposed to that kind of solution.”
How Zero Waste Boxes Work
- Choose the waste stream you’d like to recycle.
- Purchase your preferred box site
- Collect your waste.
- Send it to TerraCycle to be repurposed (shipping is included).
“It’s kind of a turnkey solution for a lot of the waste items that fall outside of the typical recycling infrastructure,” Rajadnya said.
And it’s something that’s gaining popularity.
So, what’s it like for Rajadnya when she sees people using TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Boxes?
“I was talking with a friend the other day and she was just saying how she is going to take a picture of this box that says, We have partnered with TerraCycle,” Rajadnya said. “I’m like, ‘That’s really cool. You should definitely send me that picture.’
“It’s definitely great to hear that because it means not only are more people using it, but people understand the concept of it. So even if they’re not in an environment where they have one, they know that it’s available and can maybe think about trying to bring it in.”