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Terracycle Sets Up Waste Collection Bins in Home Depot, Petco

The company that started off selling worm poop fertilizer in used soda bottles is rolling out collection bins at Home Depot, Petco, Best Buy and other stores to gather and reuse items like saw blades, pet food bags and paint brushes.

Terracycle, the company that makes fertilizer from worm poop and tote bags from food wrappers, continues to find ways to use non-recyclable items, and this month is rolling out collection bins for products specific to various chain stores.

Petco, OfficeMax, Home Depot and Best Buy stores are some of the retailers in the New York and New Jersey area that will have the collection bins set up in the coming three months for the pilot phase of the program. By mid-2010, Terracycle hopes to have collection bins in 10,000 locations.

Each chain's bins will have spots for specific items. "First, it's what materials are going to make sense for the customer at that retailer," said Albe Zakes, Terracycle's vice president of media relations. "It also has to be something that we either have a use for or are developing a use for and feel confident that we will have a use for by the time we start stockpiling the materials."

Some of the items Home Depot will take (photo above) include caulking tubes, paint brushes, saw blades, nursery pots and furnace filters. Saw blades will be turned into clocks, and flimsy plant pots will be shredded and turned into sturdier pots, something that the company decided to do after hearing complaints from gardeners.

Pet food bags collected at Petco, and plastic shopping bags, which will be taken at all retailers, will be turned into tote bags.

Terracycle started off selling worm poop-based fertilizer in used soda bottles, and now has collection brigades that bring in food wrappers, drink pouches, corks, cell phones and yogurt containers to be turned into new products. The company has collection groups in about 20,000 locations, and donates a few cents to charities for every item brought.

Terracycle also continues to grow and expand partnerships with other companies and organizations. Just this month partnerships were announced with ReCellular, for setting up cell phone collection groups, and Nomacorc, to collect and upcycle Nomacorc non-cork wine closures.

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