TerraCycle is suggesting local councils consider including its free recycling programs in their waste management strategies.
The international recycling company (based in the US) already has “community collection hubs” in retail stores, supermarkets, schools and offices, and wants to make collection points for difficult-to-recycle items made more accessible to the public.
Over the past 12 months, TerraCycle has installed collection points in all David Jones and Mecca stores to collect beauty products, as well as in limited Rip Curl outlets to collect and recycle old wetsuits, and Big W for collecting old toys.
The company plans to roll out a major reusable packaging scheme with Woolworths this year, including collecting used coffee capsules.
TerraCycle’s Australia and New Zealand general manager, Jean Bailliard, explained that one of the keys for those programs to work was that companies collect entire categories of recyclable programs rather than just their own brand.
The approach is informed by research that showed the main drivers of whether people will recycle are if it is easy and if they can see others doing the same thing.
“The success of our programs largely relies on a strong network of community collection hubs that is easily accessible for the community to drop off their waste,” Mr Bailliard said.
“We’re always looking for optimal locations to make recycling easy and convenient – for example, local councils could include the programs in public spaces such as libraries or leisure centres as part of their waste management processes.”
TerraCycle employs around 25 people in Australia and New Zealand, double the number two to three years ago. The firm employs close to 500 people internationally.