The vast majority of the rubbish that we generate, accumulate and throw away, comes from our homes. Australians reportedly produce 540kg of household waste per person, each year. That’s more than 10kg for every single person, every week of the year. Things aren’t much brighter in New Zealand where households generate 734kg of waste each year on average.
In previous blogs, like our six tips to avoid wishcycling, we’ve shared ways to help you improve your kerbside recycling habits, prevent contamination and improve recycling rates.
It’s also useful to know that there are many household items that can’t be recycled in your kerbside bin due to their complex material makeup. This is where TerraCycle steps in, teaming up with partners to set up FREE recycling programs for tricky waste streams.
Here are a few everyday items you can start recycling with TerraCycle.
- Toothbrushes and dental care products
Toothpaste tubes, floss and toothbrushes are all typically not accepted in your kerbside recycling. Over a lifetime we’ll go through countless toothbrushes, which will live on for hundreds of years in landfill.
Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take to combat this waste. TerraCycle’s recycling program with Colgate accepts any brand of toothpaste tubes and caps, manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, toothbrush and toothpaste tube plastic packaging and floss containers. And it’s easy to get involved.
You can join our program for FREE anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, fill a spare box with your empties, then post your oral care waste to us for recycling. Or you can drop it into a participating dentist to ship on your behalf
- Dishwashing liquid bottles and air freshener
It may come as a surprise to learn that your dish and air care products can’t be recycled in kerbside bins. Thanks to our friends at Fairy, you can collect, ship and recycle all dish and air care waste through TerraCycle, anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.
- Beauty products
The majority of all of the cosmetic products you’ve bought over the years will have ended up in landfills, where they’ll take hundreds of years to break down.
It’s a sobering thought. Luckily, there are now many ways you can cut back on waste or recycle your favourite beauty products. For instance, you can recycle any of your beauty empties with TerraCycle, by dropping used products to MECCA and David Jones stores in Australia or New Zealand, or to Priceline store thanks to Maybelline. If you don’t live close to a retail drop-off point, TerraCycle partners with countless brands that allow you to ship back your beauty empties for free to be recycled.
- Haircare products including aerosols
A good hair day unfortunately can come at a cost to our planet. Most shampoo bottles are made from a variety of materials including a plastic bottle, a pump and a metal spring, which can’t be disposed of in your kerbside bin.
- Medical Blister packs
Medical Blisterpacks can’t be recycled in your kerbside bin because of the complex nature of the packaging. This typically includes individual plastic compartments made of soft flexible plastic, covered by a foil.
Chemists’ Own and TerraCycle have partnered to trial an in-store recycling program for household blister packs in select Pharmacy Alliance stores in Australia. If you live near a participating pharmacy, this is a great way to make a difference for the environment.
If you can’t access the free recycling program yet, TerraCycle also recycles blister packs through its Blister Pack Zero Waste Box in Australia and New Zealand. You can always contact your local pharmacy to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring a Zero Waste Box solution on behalf of the community.
Razors may seem small and innocuous, but over a lifetime of shaving all of those little things add up to create a huge amount of waste. In the U.S. it’s estimated that 2 billion disposable razors go to landfill each year.
This waste can be avoided! You can recycle any brand of disposable razor through TerraCycle and Gillette’s Razor Recycling Program. It allows households and communities in Australia or New Zealand to safely collect then ship their waste for recycling
Sweetening the recycling deal is the TerraCycle Points rewards system, which awards points for every recycling shipment. TerraCycle points can be converted to dollars and donated to a charity, community organisation or school of your choice.
So take a closer look at some of those items that pass through your hands every day. Disposing of them responsibly can pay off in so many wonderful ways.