TerraCycle FAQs

Recycling is a confusing business, especially when it comes to tackling hard-to-recycle items that can’t be disposed of in your yellow bin. Each of the waste streams that are recycled by TerraCycle requires a unique solution, so we are well aware of how confusing it can be to work out what to recycle curbside, what you can recycle through TerraCycle, and what to throw out.

To help you understand how to make the most of our free recycling programs, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. If there’s anything you’re still unsure about, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly customer support team.

  1. How do your free recycling programs work?
  • Across both Australia and New Zealand, TerraCycle partners with brands to sponsor national recycling programs for items that would otherwise be destined for landfill. For example, our partnership with L’Or, Moccona and illy extends across both Australia and New Zealand accepts any of their own brand of coffee capsules.
  • Our network of collectors helps us prevent these items from entering the environment. Whether you’re a school teacher, a student, a small business owner, or a community leader, we welcome waste warriors from all walks of life.

    Before you start collecting any items, we ask that you complete the following steps first:
  1. Sign up for a TerraCycle account:

    Head to www.terracycle.com and make sure your country flag is displayed on the top of the home page. If it’s showing the wrong country and flag, simply click on the flag to change it to the right one. This will enable you to sign up for the programs available in your region. Once you’ve selected the correct country, you’ll then need to click ‘Sign Up’, follow the prompts and fill out your details. You need to be 18 years of age to sign up for a TerraCycle account.
  2. Join the program(s) you wish to participate in:

    After making a TerraCycle account, you’ll then be able to join as many of the free recycling programs as you wish. Simply visit the page that lists all the programs available in your country and click on the ones you wish to join. You’ll see a ‘Join Program for Free’ button on each program page followed by program specifics such as accepted waste, minimum shipment sizes and whether you’ll qualify for TerraCycle points by sending in items through this program.
  3. Wait to be accepted in a program if you’re placed on a waitlist:

    Due to their popularity, our free recycling programs reach capacity from time to time. This means that when you join these programs, you’ll be placed on a waitlist until there are more spaces available. It’s not always clear how long you’ll have to wait before being added to a program because the decision ultimately lies with the brand partner who sponsors the program. We ask that you remain patient while we work with the brand to make more spots available. Some of the programs that are waitlisted fast-track collectors who sign up as a Community Collection Hub and accept public donations of waste. If this is something you are interested in, we recommend reaching out to our customer support team for more information first.
  4. Set up your recycling station:
    Once you’ve been accepted into the program(s) you wish to collect for, the next step is to set up your recycling station. Whether you’re a private collector or collecting on behalf of the community, we encourage you to make the most of the resources and support available to you. Down the bottom of each program page, you’ll find a range of downloadable posters, FAQs, and flyers to help you maximise your collection. We recommend attaching the program’s accepted waste poster to your collection bin so it’s clear which items are able to be recycled through the program. If you’re setting up a Community Collection Hub, you can find a range of resources to help you get started here. In the spirit of zero waste, we encourage you to reuse a cardboard box as we do not provide you with bins for your collections.
  • How do I get a free shipping label?
    After following the steps above and you’ve collected enough of a specific waste stream to meet the minimum weight threshold, you’ll now be able to request a free shipping label to post back your items for recycling. All you need to do is:
  1. log in to your TerraCycle account at www.terracycle.com
  2. Go to your profile and click the bright green button that says “Send us Your Waste”.
  3. Scroll down and you will see the list of free recycling programs that you are currently registered for. 
  4. Find the program you wish to send in a shipment for and click on “Get Shipping Label”.
  5. The label will then be sent to your email address as a PDF. You can then print it out and attach it to your box of recycling. 
  6. To send us your shipment, simply drop it off at your nearest post office.
  • What are my options if a program is waitlisted?
    As mentioned above, some of our programs reach capacity from time to time.  you try to join them you’ll be added to a waitlist. In the meantime, here’s a list of additional ways you can recycle your items through TerraCycle:
  1. Community Collection Hubs
    Please use our network of Community Collection Hubs and see if there’s a location nearby that accepts the waste stream you wish to recycle. Simply click on ‘National Recycling Solutions’ on the top left of the page, and then click ‘Find a Community Collection Hub.’ 

You can then type in your suburb or postcode and select the maximum search area you’re willing to travel to. Don’t forget to also select the specific waste stream you want to recycle. Some locations accept several waste streams so be sure to check. We also recommend calling the Hub first to find out the best time to drop off waste and if any of their details have changed.

  1. In-store collections
    Some of our free recycling programs, in particular our beauty product recycling programs, allow you to return your empties in store. In Australia, you’re able to return beauty products to Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, MECCA, David Jones and Maybelline beauty recycling at all Priceline stores. In New Zealand, you can visit select The Warehouse Group stores in Auckland to recycle Colgate, Schwarzkopf and NESCAFÉ, MECCA, Kiehls, David Jones stores. For more information on how each program works, check out their program pages on our website.
  2. Zero Waste Boxes
    TerraCycle’s paid recycling solution offers you endless ways to recycle all those tricky items that can’t be recycled through normal kerbside collections. You can order your boxes from our website and they will be posted out to you. The boxes come with a return shipping label attached so when they are full you simply seal the boxes and drop them off at your closest post office. The price of the box covers the box itself, shipping to you/back to us once full, and the cost of recycling the contents.

Through our Zero Waste Box solution, you can recycle practically everything – from used facemasks and gloves to sporting equipment, party supplies, shipping materials and more! Be sure to take our quiz to find the right box for you and your recycling needs.

  • What support does TerraCycle provide?
    Our goal is to provide you with all the information and support you need to help you manage your recycling collection. While we don’t provide you with a collection bin for all of our programs, it is worth signing up to our newsletter to stay up to date  with our latest offers and giveaways, as a few of our programs do provide boxes for joining.  A used cardboard box is a useful collection vessel and in line with the zero waste mission. Down the bottom of each program page, you’ll find a range of downloadable posters, FAQs, and flyers to help you promote  your collection. We recommend attaching the program’s accepted waste poster to your collection bin so it’s clear which items can be recycled through the program. If you’re setting up a Community Collection Hub, you can find a range of resources to help you get started here
  • How does the TerraCycle Point system work?

    Through many of our free recycling programs, we reward you with TerraCycle points which are redeemable for a cash payment toward a school or non-profit organisation of your choice. When you send in qualifying shipments (some have minimum weight requirements), your account will be automatically credited with the corresponding amount of points.

    To donate to a nominated organisation, other than our charity partners, you will need to allocate at least 3500 points (or $35) for the organisation. Generally, this will be a school or local community group that you have nominated yourself.
    This new minimum donation requirement does not apply to our wide range of charity partners; you can continue to donate to them in $10 parcels (1,000 points).
    Our charity partners include not-for-profit organisations such as the TerraCycle Global Foundation, which prevents an average of five tonnes of rubbish from entering the ocean every week.
  • To find out how many points you have, simply login to your TerraCycle account and check the number in the top right-hand corner (where the heart on hand symbol is). When you’re ready to redeem, head to this page on the website and either choose one of our featured charities in the drop-down menu or search for an existing charity by clicking on “Add A New Charity”. If the school or non-profit is not already registered then you will need to add them and fill in as many details as possible including the name and contact details of someone who works there.

    Our charity payments are processed twice a year and the cut-off dates for both rounds of payments are 30 April and 31 October. If your school or charity doesn’t receive their donation within 2 months of you redeeming your points, it’s likely that you missed the cut off date and your donation will be processed in the next round.

To stay updated on all things TerraCycle, make sure you follow our social media accounts and have signed up to receive our newsletter. We’ll be sending out regular updates to all our private collectors and Community Collection Hubs with news on program launches, giveaways, competitions, milestones, recycling tips and tricks and industry-related news. Make sure you check out our blog too.

TerraCycle Australia contact details:

Email Customer Support at: customersupport@terracycle.com.au

Website: www.terracycle.com/en-AU

Facebook: www.facebook.com/terracycleaustralia

Instagram: www.instagram.com/terracycleaus/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terracycleaust

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/terracycle-australia-new-zealand

Do you want to add the links to the help desk/FAQs in? 

Help Desk / FAQs: https://help.au.terracycle.com/hc/en-au

TerraCycle New Zealand contact details:

Email Customer Support at: customersupport@terracycle.co.nz

Website: www.terracycle.com/en-NZ

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TerraCycleNewZealand

Instagram: www.instagram.com/terracyclenz/

Help Desk / FAQs: https://help.nz.terracycle.com/hc/en-nz

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