By Lisa Brown
TerraCycle, founded in 2001, is the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from juice pouches to beauty care product bottles. The waste is collected through “Brigades” then reused, upcycled, or recycled into a variety of affordable, sustainable consumer products and industrial applications. Each year, in over 21 countries, TerraCycle collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste working in partnership with over 100 major brands. Thus far, they have donated millions of dollars to schools and charities.
Four years ago, Jones Dairy Elementary teacher Cherry Jackson heard about TerraCycle and asked if she could bring it into her fifth grade classroom. After seeing success with it in her homeroom, Jackson, who now teaches fourth grade, has continued the program as a club allowing any interested fifth grade student to participate in collecting, sorting and helping to send off items for recycling.
“This is a good project for the students, and they are recognized at the end of the year for their hard work,” Jackson says.
The group of six new recruits started their first day with enthusiasm and eagerness. Asked what prompted them to join the TerraCycle Club they all said they thought it would be fun. They are all also happy to make a difference and help earn money for the school.
Last year, Jackson’s TerraCycle club earned the school $1,000, making them one of the top collectors in the state. Jackson hopes to expand the program and encourages anyone in the community to donate items.
“I hope to get local beauty salons and hotels involved because all of those used beauty product bottles can be sent in and earn us money,” Jackson says. She is also happy to pick up bagged items if it means being able to receive more and make it easy for donors.
In order to spread the word about TerraCycle and Jones Dairy’s efforts, Jackson hopes to use the natural talent of this year’s club to good use. “This group is particularly hammy, and I would like to make infomercials and other videos showcasing what we do and how it works,” she says.
TerraCycle is proud to be a triple bottom-line company making money not just for itself but for corporate sponsors and charities or schools as well.
One student put it best: “This is a great opportunity to have fun and learn new things.” Another said being part of TerraCycle is “a great feeling.”
To learn more about TerraCycle go to www.terracycle.com.
To contact Jackson and to donate, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.