Wal-Mart Parking Lots Have Solution to Consumption Guilt Wal-Mart Recycling Program Pays Cash for Trash
A set of New Jersey Wal-Mart parking lots now have a way to turn consumer product waste into profits. (Well, a little pocket change, anyway.)
Terracycle has installed what they call "Store Collection Systems," a 20-foot trailer that accepts all kinds of packaging that can't be recycled in the normal blue bin outside your house. Then they take the mostly plastic waste—like Elmer’s glue bottles, toothpaste tubes, Capri Sun drink pouches—and turn them into products to resell in stores and online. They make mostly bags, pouches and coolers, but a few other items like picture frames and fertilizer, too.
The best part is, Terracycle pays three cents for each piece of waste deposited. Up until now they've had brigades of children—more than 12 million kids!—doing this for them to raise money for their schools. Wal-Mart already does some other recycling collection, but this is the only way I know of to get paid for used yogurt containers.
Since they started in 2001, Terracycle has reclaimed more than $1.85 billion pieces of non-recyclable packaging. Now anyone in South and Central Jersey can help, and earn money for a school or charity while they're at it.
If you don't live in the area, you can send Terracycle your waste by mail—and the shipping cost is on them.