This is a guest post from Tom Szaky, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of TerraCycle, which provides free waste collection, and then turns that waste into sustainable products. View our previous post about TerraCycle here: http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/terracycle-outsmart-waste/
Widely quoted estimates suggest that 90% of the ‘stuff’ we buy is discarded within 6 months of purchase. What’s worse is that 10% of this “stuff” ends up going to some type of waste-to-energy facility, while the remaining 90% of America’s waste ends up in a landfill.
With over 360 million Americans and counting producing on average about 4 pounds of waste a day, it is clear that our recycling systems need to be expanded to accept a wider range of materials, and fast. Worse yet, even commonly recyclable packaging formats such as PET and HDPE plastic bottles are only recycled at an estimated (and paltry) 25%.
via Students for Environmental Action: As I was eating some peanut M&Ms (love ‘em) I looked on the back of the package and saw the message “Recycle this package” and the website. I went to it and it is SUPER AWESOME! All these things you didn’t think you could recycle, well you can! It was started by a student at Princeton University in 2001 and now they recycle waste from big corporations too. We could also collect some of this waste ourselves and send it in. The incentive is not only recycling, but each wrapper or package is worth 2 cents donated to the charity of our choice! Maybe one of our goals could be to set up official collection boxes next to all the trash bins in buildings. It wouldn’t be that bad since there’s only like one per hallway now!
Check out TerraCycle at: http://www.terracycle.net/en-US/