What’s the difference between a free recycling program and a Zero Waste Box?

At TerraCycle, we offer two main recycling solutions for people and companies in Australia and New Zealand: Free Recycling Programs and Zero Waste Boxes. 

Zero Waste Boxes are currently only available in Australia, but we hope to bring them to New Zealand very soon.

Which recycling solution is best for you? What are the differences between them? Recycling can be confusing so we’ve written a short article to help you find the best recycling solution for you.

First, let’s cover what we mean by a Free Recycling Program. 

The Free Recycling Programs are funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers to help you collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste. 

To take part, you simply sign up with TerraCycle, choose the program you’d like to join, start collecting in your home, office or on behalf of your community, then either take the waste to a Community Collection Hub or download a free shipping label to send us your waste to be recycled. Read more about Free Recycling Programs in Australia and in New Zealand.

You do not need to purchase a Zero Waste Box to participate in a Free Recycling Program. Zero Waste Boxes are a product and recycling service, completely separate to the Free Recycling Programs. Zero Waste Boxes provide solutions for difficult-to-recycle waste that cannot be recycled through your local council or for when we don’t have a Free Recycling Program for a particular type of waste.

Zero Waste Boxes can be used anywhere; at home, the office, community spaces, events and more! You can buy them online in either small or medium sizes. The price covers the recycling process and transport cost. Once ordered online, the box is delivered by Australia Post and arrives flat packed. Simply open the Zero Waste Box and stand it up-right; it’s then ready for you to start putting waste in it! Once the box is full, take it back to Australia Post (for free) and then we’ll recycle the contents! If you would like to recycle more waste after you have sent back your Zero Waste Box, a new Zero Waste Box would need to be purchased.

So, how is Zero Waste Box different to the Free Recycling Programs?

1. The types of waste that can be recycled

Happily, our list of Free Recycling Programs continues to grow as companies partner with us to recycle more and more material. 

But did you know Zero Waste Boxes cover more waste streams than the Free Recycling Programs? We can recycle glasses, lawn decorations, sweet wrappers, plastic food packaging, VHS tapes, hair nets, cereal packaging, thongs and more. If you can think of it, we probably have a Zero Waste Box for it! Take a look at the full range of Zero Waste Boxes.

2. The price

The clue is in the title. There is no cost for you to participate in the Free Recycling Program because a brand has sponsored the recycling of a waste stream and therefore the cost is borne by the brand.

However, for waste categories that are not included in our Free Recycling Programs, Zero Waste Boxes enable consumers and businesses to recycle these types of waste, which would have otherwise been incinerated or sent to landfill. To find out more about why Zero Waste Boxes cost money, please click here.

3. How to get involved and start recycling!

To find out more about how you can get involved in our free recycling programs, check out their program pages on our website.

To buy a Zero Waste Box in Australia, simply choose the waste category you’d like to recycle, purchase your preferred box size, collect your waste, and send it to TerraCycle to be repurposed (shipping is included). All purchases are made through the Zero Waste Box website and there is no limit to how many Zero Waste Boxes you can buy. Unlike Free Recycling Programs, you do not need to join a program or create a TerraCycle account.

One thought

  1. Hi
    I used to send you my coffee pods by post paid
    I need to mail , dumping physically at a centre not an option.
    It takes me some time to collect them as only a single household.
    Can I still mail?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s