What is the difference between private collectors and public drop-off locations? 


Our free recycling programs have 2 main methods in which you can get involved. 

You can join a program by becoming a private collector. Private collectors usually gather together waste which they have accumulated themselves at home. Private collectors registered on a program are able to download prepaid shipping labels to send their waste back to us.

The second option is to set up a public drop-off location. A public drop-off location is a communal collection point where the public can take their TerraCycle® waste for recycling. It is a centralized, publicly accessible location to drop off specific types of waste and packaging to be recycled. 

Public drop-off locations are also displayed on our program maps to allow communities to recycle together. In other words, people can bring their hard-to-recycle waste to your public drop-off location for you to send them to TerraCycle®. Both public and private collectors can earn points and redeem them for donations for a school or charity when a shipment meets the minimum weight requirement.

The steps to send us the waste remain the same for private collectors and public drop-off location administrators but the administrators will be able to send more units and a greater weight per shipment. Not only will you be having a greater positive impact on the environment by preventing more waste from going to landfill, but you will earn more TerraCycle® points that can be redeemed into charity donations to support causes, schools, charities and organizations you care about.

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