Setting up your own collection point

Here are the steps to set up your own collection whether it be outside your house or at your workplace or well, anywhere really!

  1. Find a box! I like these ones from Ikea https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/sortera-waste-sorting-bin-with-lid-white-10255897/ and https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/sortera-waste-sorting-bin-with-lid-white-70255899/
  2. Label it or them so people know exactly what they should be putting in them and you don’t get contaminated waste or recycling. We used sharpies but there are also posters attached to here or better quality ones can be downloaded from the Terracycle wesbite.
  3. Tell people about them! I have a crisp packet and confectionery bin outside my house so I wrote to my neighbours telling them about it. But if in your workplace, email people telling them. (My letter is at the bottom of this post which you are welcome to copy.)
  4. Collect the items until you have loads and loads and loads and loads.
  5. The next step for crisps – you can send them off to Terracycle yourself using a cardboard box and by printing a UPS label. You need to sign up for a Terracycle account https://www.terracycle.com/ to do this. You can select a charity to donate any money to as for each shipment you send off, you earn Terracycle points. You can redeem the points for a variety of charitable gifts or a payment to the non-profit organisation of your choice. 1 Terracycle point is worth £0.01. 200 points = £2 and you get 200 points per kilo sent off. The UPS shipment is free. Or you can give the crisp packets to somebody else who is collecting.
  6. For any other collections, you need to give the items to somebody who is already registered with Terracycle to collect them for example, Usk community recycling project. If you have quite a lot, they have said they can send you a label to send off on behalf of them but the money will go to their chosen charities. You can search for your nearest point for other products such as confectionery and biscuits on the Terracycle website. At the moment I know of only myself and The Flour Girls in Blaenavon doing confectionery recycling in Torfaen.

It doesn’t really matter where you put the crisp packets etc, whether you have your own collection or add to somebody else’s because at the end of the day it’s not about the money, it’s about these things not going to landfill. And yes, if we were all perfect we wouldn’t have the waste in the first place but who is volunteering to stop eating crisps and chocolate?!?!

Terracycle literally recycle anything and everything. Please take a look at their website for any questions or any other recycling streams. If you do decide to set up a collection, please message me so I can add it to the list of local collections taking place.

My letter:
Hello 😊 I’m Lauren from —-. As a household we are trying to live a more eco conscious life and have made lots of changes to the way we shop, eat, and live by making small changes. I have set up a Facebook group called, ‘A journey to zero waste in Torfaen’ which you are welcome to join. It has attracted over 2000 members in a week! The reason for this note is to say that there is a white Ikea box outside my house with empty crisp packets in. If you would like to add your empty crisp packets too you are very welcome, and I will arrange to send them off to Terracycle for recycling. Just save them up and pop them in when you’re passing. Please don’t fold or scrunch them. Just place them in flat. You can also place the outer packaging of multipack bags too. Thank you for reading – hope to see you on the Facebook page! Lauren x