Why are TerraCycle programs free but Zero Waste Boxes have a cost?

We are often asked why our Zero Waste Boxes cost money while our national programs are free to collectors. Firstly, it’s important to highlight that no recycling is free. Someone is paying, somewhere along the line.

Why isn’t all recycling free?

Your municipal recycling is paid by your taxes (or directly by you) and mitigated by any revenue the companies which process the rubbish can earn from the items they collect. So, the only rubbish accepted in kerbside recycling are those items recyclers can make a profit on.

If the cost of collecting and processing the rubbish is lower than the value of the resulting raw material, it will likely be locally recyclable. If costs are higher, then it likely won’t be. Some recycled materials like clear plastics are more easily incorporated into new products, and thus are in higher demand and worth more. Meanwhile, something like a coloured glass or plastic has fewer end markets and therefore a lower price tag as a recycled material.

The good news is that most rubbish is technically recyclable, and TerraCycle has developed solutions for hundreds of different types of rubbish that don’t belong in your kerbside bins.

How can I recycle with TerraCycle?

At TerraCycle, we offer both free and paid solutions to recycle items that aren’t accepted by municipal recycling services.

  • Our free recycling programs are sponsored by brands who cover the cost of collecting and recycling rubbish, so you pay nothing to participate.
  • Zero Waste Boxes are our paid solution for recycling almost any type of rubbish.

Why choose a Zero Waste Box?

Where free recycling programs do not exist, our pre-paid Zero Waste Box solution allows  individuals, companies and community groups to recycle almost everything by funding the process themselves. You can use Zero Waste Boxes to recycle all kinds of difficult-to-recycle rubbish, including coffee capsules, disposable face masks and gloves, office equipment and more.

The cost of a Zero Waste Box reflects the production of the box; transportation to you and then back to our recycling facilities; and the actual cost of sorting, cleaning, processing, and recycling the contents. This is a pre-paid option which you fund directly. 

Check out the video below to see how we process your rubbish once TerraCycle receives your Zero Waste Box.

Still have questions? Visit our online Help Center for Australia and New Zealand to find answers to dozens of questions. Or, speak with a customer service representative on 1800 983 324 in Australia and 0800 474 016 in New Zealand.

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