We are lucky that our County’s traditional recycling collection has stayed strong through the early months of coronavirus thanks to hardworking staff at the County Transfer Station and RAD Curbside. Many other communities shut down their recycling. Teton Valley Community Recycling (TVCR) did ask community members to hang on to their “hard to recycle” TerraCycle items for a couple of months as many of our volunteers who box up the recycling are in the “high risk” category and we didn’t want to endanger their health.
Now that businesses are reopening, TVCR not only has reopened our TerraCycle collection sites at the Geo Center in Driggs and General Laundry in Victor, but we are expanding to add a Drink Pouch recycling (sponsored by Honest Kids Juice) and Writing Implement recycling including pens, highlighters, glue sticks, watercolors (sponsored by Bic).
For the month of July only, we will have a special collection of all sizes and brands of Chips and Snacks bags for recycling, so remember to save those empty bags from your picnics and barbeques. Sadly, after two years on the waiting list for Chips bags recycling program, we got a spot only to find out that this collection is ending on July 31. Our final Chips bags collection date will be on July 26.
If you are not familiar with TVCR’s TerraCycle program, it is recycling 2.0 – going beyond the traditional recyclables which you can take to the County Transfer Station or have picked up curbside. TerraCycle works with manufacturers to take back and recycle the “hard to recycle” packaging and waste generated by their products in a specialized facility in New Jersey. This is a step in the right direction as many states try to pass “Extended Producer Responsibility” legislation which puts the onus on reducing or recovering wasteful packaging on the producer rather than individual consumers and municipalities. It is one of the few measures that has proven highly successful in improving recycling and waste reduction globally.
TVCR offers two convenient collection points in partnership with local businesses – the General Laundry Co. in Victor and the Geo Center in Driggs. Both locations open early and close late, have bins to collect all of the TerraCycle items we currently recycle, and provide information and educational materials on other recycling opportunities. We appreciate our business partners!
Community members are invited to collect and drop off their empty, dry, sorted “hard to recycle” items listed below to be boxed by volunteers and shipped for recycling. Complete collection details are available at tetonrecycling.org.
- Beauty product packaging (all empty skin product and cosmetic packaging, lip products, eye makeup, lotion containers, soap pumps – NO nail polish, NO shaving cream cans, NO shampoo bottles)
- Contact lenses and the blister pack packaging they come in
- Chips and savory snack bags (clean and empty – until July 26, 2020 only)
- Dental waste (used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, empty floss containers, and all associated packaging from these items)
- Deodorant, Mouthwash, and Razors & packaging
- Drink Pouches (empty, all brands)
- Health & Nutrition Packaging (all flu/cold/allergy/OTC medicine packaging including pill blister packs, vitamins, nutrition supplements packaging, infant formula, foot care packaging). Sorry NO prescription bottles accepted.
- Writing implements (pens, highlighters, watercolors, glue sticks)
- Batteries & Printer Ink jets are also collected for recycling locally.
If you are interested in recycling cigarette butts and packaging, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a free cigarette waste collection container for you.
TVCR is always looking for additional recycling and waste reduction options for our remote rural community, but we make sure to research and only promote environmentally sound methods. The best option for all of us is to purchase fewer packaged items, reuse and repair everything, and compost or recycle any remaining waste that is collected by our County. Larger municipalities may be able to recycle more or different items than Teton County, Idaho, so consider having a separate recycling bin for items to bring to Jackson or elsewhere including magazines/catalogs, phone books, aluminum foil/pie tins, plastic bags, and brown paper bags – all of which can be recycled in Jackson but not at the Driggs Transfer Station.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com with any questions or ideas that you may have to help our community create less waste and divert or reuse what we have.
Thank you for recycling right!