Do not Trash Those Candy Wrappers: F&ES Becomes TerraCycle Collection Site

Do not Trash Those Candy Wrappers: F&ES Becomes TerraCycle Collection Site

This spring, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) will become a TerraCycle collection site, joining thousands of other organizations around the world in diverting waste from landfills.

TerraCycle is an upcycling company that collects waste items otherwise destined for recycling bins and garbage cans and gives them a new life.

At F&ES, we will collect used candy wrappers and foil-lined energy and granola wrappers. The wrappers can be deposited in bins located in the kitchens of Kroon and Sage halls.

When TerraCycle was created in 2001 by a Princeton freshman named Tom Szaky, it utilized a “Bottle Brigade” to collect plastic bottles. Those bottles were subsequently used to store plant fertilizer that Szaky made from worm castings. The company has since grown to include more than 40 Brigades representing different types of waste items — from empty toothpaste tubes to Solo cups to snack bags — that are then upcycled into new products. The company has even begun to upcycle cigarette butts.

Collection sites send in their items, and in exchange, TerraCycle makes a donation towards a charity of the collection site’s choice.

F&ES will partner with Yale University Press, which has collected items such as candy wrappers, chip bags, and coffee bags (a now-defunct Brigade) since 2011. Through TerraCycle, the Press has made donations to Heifer International, helping send a family of baby chicks to a family in need, plant trees in an American forest, and provide clean water to a person for one year.

The partnership between F&ES and the Press marks the first of its kind, representing an effort towards extending elements of the F&ES mission to other parts of the university. The partnership will not only help increase the number of charitable donations made, but will contribute to TerraCycle’s goal of revaluing the waste stream.

For more information about TerraCycle, please visit terracycle.com.