Starting in 2018, avid recyclers in Teton County, ID will have the opportunity to recycle even more items from our remote mountain valley. The county recycling program is limited by the cost of transporting collected bales of recycled material. Materials Receiving Facilities (MRFs) are not located near the Tetons and our mountain passes are often closed to truck traffic. We do have the ability to recycle many traditional recyclables (aluminum, steel, glass, paper, cardboard, and some plastics – see the Teton County Solid Waste and Recycling website for full details (www.tetoncountyidaho.gov) TVCR decided to join the TerraCycle program to allow us to recycle a few more things.
TerraCycle was founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, a student at Princeton University, on a mission towards Eliminating the Idea of Waste®. From these humble beginnings TerraCycle has grown into the global leader in collecting and re-purposing hard-to-recycle waste: operating in over 20 countries, engaging over 63 million people, and recycling billions of pieces of waste through various innovative platforms, raising over $15 million for charities around the world.
TerraCycle offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers around the world to help collect and recycle hard-to-recycle waste. TVCR has signed up for specific programs for things we’d like to collect, then place collection bins around town. Once they are full, TVCR volunteers collect the materials, download free shipping labels, box them up, and send the waste to be recycled. We even earn a few dollars for local schools and non-profits.
We currently have two designated public drop off locations: The Geotourism Center on Main Street in Driggs and the General Laundry Company on Main Street in Victor.
TVCR is currently collecting the following items (clean and dry):
- Used toothbrushes
- Empty toothpaste tubes
- Empty floss containers
- Packaging from toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss
- All foil lined food bar wrappers (energy bars, protein bars, granola bars, diet bars)
- All empty cereal bags
We are on the waiting list for other programs such as #6 plastic cups, deodorant and beauty products, and empty potato chip/snack bags. We could do laundry detergent bottles and cigarette butts, but due to limited volunteer time and the general “ick” factor we have chosen not to embark on those programs.
Please utilize this community recycling service. Don’t contaminate it. And stay tuned for additional collections as they become available.
Several local schools and non-profits have also volunteered as collection points. If you’d like to see one at your business or school, please contact Iris at 206-484-7354 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to set you up. I am looking at the viability of setting up collecting bins at the Transfer Station, but the wind and weather makes it challenging to collect these lightweight items.
Read more about the program at www.terracycle.com