Students Roll Out TerraCycle Collection Boxes for Random Recyclables

July 19, 2012

Members of the Penn Environmental Group (PEG) and Penn Eco-Reps program have recently rolled out a new waste reduction initiative that focuses on repurposing non-traditional recyclables into consumer products through the Trenton-based company TerraCycle.

Through a process called “upcycling”, TerraCycle collects items such as toothpaste tubes, writing instruments, cheese packaging, old toothbrushes, lipstick cases, glue sticks, tape dispensers, and other things that would normally be disposed as trash and uses the materials to create products such as backpacks, duffle bags, picnic benches, and more. Each item recycled is assigned a specific point value, and as points are accumulated TerraCycle contributes a donation to a charity selected by the Penn student organizers.

TerraCycle collection boxes with a list of acceptable items are currently located in most College House lobbies. PEG representatives and College House Eco-Reps hope to expand the program and raise additional awareness of Penn’s Climate Action Plan goal to reach a 40 percent recycling rate by 2014.


Penn’s undergraduate major in Environmental Studies was the first in the country in 1972.

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