Pass Us the Baton…We’ll Run the Anchor Leg!
How Does Relay Recycling Help?
Like us, you may be paying attention to the world of recycling and see that it is not a well-functioning system and the items we send to be recycled are frequently thrown away in the end. So why bother trying to recycle more? Many companies partner with recycling companies like Terracycle, but only pay for the recycling when people actually box up their product packaging and send it off. Then they can set the amount they’re willing to pay and still say their packaging is recyclable, even if only two people choose to do it. The onus shouldn’t be on the consumer to expand viable recycling, but change is often driven by the consumer. Help us send the message that we want companies to recycle their packaging, and make better packaging, less packaging. The more we send their stuff in to be recycled, the greater is the pressure to create less wasteful packaging.
If you’re a person who would like to recycle more than just what can go in the blue box, you’ve come to the right place. There are lots of things that can be recycled through other vendors–like chip bags, toys, worn-out shoes, toothpaste tubes, hygiene containers, batteries, light bulbs, plastic bags, electric devices and accessories, to name only a few. But who has time to get it all separated and transported to the various places that will accept it? Plus, it can be costly to recycle some things on a small scale. It’s cheaper to do it in bulk, but am I really going to save my toothpaste tubes and lip balm containers for a year or more? Um, no. Enter Live & Learn’s Relay Recycling. We will collect the outside-the-box items and get them to the vendors for recycling. Your toothpaste tube will have friends in the hygiene products box and will head off to a new life sooner than if you go it alone.
NEW! We’ve done an audit of all of our vendors and the real-time success of our recycling efforts in the complicated, and not always honest, world of recycling. After a thorough review, we have decided to partner almost exclusively with Terracycle, based in New Jersey, which does in-house recycling and has more1 transparent processes and programs for recycling. They in turn partner with many name-brands to offer members free recycling. Check out our free recycling options!
We also offer several recycling streams through Terracycle that require payment (see the list below). Unfortunately, we no longer offer styrofoam recycling. It is too expensive and untenable to recycle. We hate it!
1 Recent investigations into Terracycle’s exact data on items fully recycled have yielded unclear information. We are watching, fingers crossed, to see how Terracycle is ultimately graded on its recycling processes.
Pay to Recycle These Items:
1. Snack Bags, Candy Wrappers (check the free list for specific brands that are free to recycle)
2. Plastic Packaging (the plastic all of our random stuff comes wrapped up in)
3. Office/School Products (pens, markers, tape dispensers, binders, etc.)
We charge $20 per grocery bag amount. You can give us smaller amounts of stuff and divide up the price accordingly. Honor system rules!
Free to Recycle Through Live & Learn!
1. ALL Personal Care Items, Packaging
2. ALL Food Storage Containers
3. ALL Vitamin and Medicine Packaging
4. ALL Electronic Devices and Accessories
5. Hasbro Toys
6. Arm & Hammer Products (e.g. Oxiclean)
7. Bic pens
8. Burts Bees Products
9. Eos Products
10. Gilette Razors
11. Late July Packaging
12. Open Farm Packaging
13. P & G Packaging (e.g. Dawn, Old Spice)
14. Plastic Bags
15. Solo Cups (all #6 plastic cups)
16. Swiffer Products (except used pads)
17. Tom’s of Maine Products
18. Honest Kids drink pouches
20. Light Bulbs
Why are we doing this? Well, our motto is Do What We Can Now and Adapt As We Learn More. Recycling is a complicated and vexed issue with cost and viability at the forefront of discussions. Certainly, it would be vastly better if there were one centralized system for recycling everything that can be recycled, but we aren’t there. Recycling has developed in a piecemeal fashion and is still trying to adapt from the loss of the Chinese market. Our society will always be throwing things away, though hopefully less and less. Live & Learn is all in on reducing the contents of our landfills and the overflow that ends up in our rivers and oceans. Will recycling change significantly in the next decade? Almost certainly. But rather than do nothing and wait, we’ll do what we can now and adapt as we learn more.