Have you heard about the company TERRACYCLE?
This is one of my new favourite institutions. I read about it in Amy Korst's "Zero Waste Lifestyle" and I couldn't believe my eyes! It's a company that strives to find uses for and/or recycle the pieces of waste that your local waste management department can't. Here's how it works:
1. Go to Terracycle's website and click on the subheading "send us your waste." A grid of brigades will pop up. Here you can scan for waste streams that you contribute to but can't recycle or repurpose in your own hometown. I currently am a member of the diaper packaging, cereal bag, and coffee bag brigades. I want to do more - but I'm trying to start slow so I don't bite off more than I can chew.
2. Sign up for the streams you wish and start collecting! I collect my own waste and some from my daughter's daycare as well as donations from my work colleagues. I set up some 'pink boxes' in the staff room and let my fellow workers know that they could put their 'junk' in the 'boxes' any time they felt like it. I was quick to let them know that the 'size of their junk' didn't matter - it's what they do with it that counts :)
3. Once I have enough 'junk' I just log into my account at Terracycle.ca and request a shipping label to be sent to my e-mail. They PAY for me to ship them my collection!
4. Finally - as if curbing waste isn't enough of an incentive to ship to terracycle - they credit my account with points that can be turned into a donation to a charity of my choice! Once I have enough I'm donating to the David Suzuki Foundation. The environmental benefits just multiply!