5 Benefits of Being a Public Drop-off Location

At TerraCycle, we collect and recycle hard-to-recycle waste. Anyone can send us their waste, either by signing up as a private collector, or by setting 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 centralised, publicly accessible location to drop off specific types of waste and packaging to be recycled. In other words, people can bring their hard-to-recycle waste to your drop off collection point for you to send them to TerraCycle.

You normally wouldn’t want to be the person everyone brings their waste to, but with TerraCycle, you will want to! Here is why.

1. Collect more waste and donations

The steps to send us the waste remains the same but this time you’ll 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 organisations you care about.

2. Engage with your local community

Members in your community will be extremely thankful for your decision to set up an accessible drop off bin so that they too can recycle more types of waste. Recycling and collecting is an activity all people of all ages can engage with. Plus, it’s a great, easy and fun way to meet new people!

3. Create your own recycling facility nearby

Registering as a public drop off location point, you’ll have convenient recycling facilities on your doorstep (figuratively and/or literally)!

Your public drop off location could be in a store, supermarket, charity shop, vet’s office, school, local hall, church, house, garden centre…the list goes on! Think about locations where people would need to drop their waste depending on the waste stream that you are collecting.


There are still areas where public drop off locations are sparse, take a look at the interactive maps on the free recycling programme pages to see what existing public drop off locations are in your community.

4. Raise awareness

By having collection boxes in visible places, such as a supermarket or garden centre, it’s a great way to raise the profile of an organization or cause you are passionate about alongside the importance of recycling. It can also be a good opportunity to raise awareness amongst children in your community.

5. Send more efficient shipments

Often it can be difficult for private collectors to meet programmes’ minimum shipment weights to earn points. However, by having more material in one shipment, rather than several smaller shipments, the transport of the waste is a lot more efficient and less damaging for the environment, win-win!

I’d like to set up a public drop off location – what do I need to do?

Once you have signed up to TerraCycle, or if you are already collecting with TerraCycle but not signed up as a Public Drop off Location, please fill in the public drop-off location application form that can be found on each of the recycling programme pages (you can find the list of programmes here). For a short, step by step guide to create a TerraCycle account and register as public drop off location, please take a look at our previous post on how to become a public drop off location. We also have a guide on how to become a top collector, please click here for part one and here for part two.

IMG_6177 edit 2.jpg

Remember, if you use a public drop off location please;

  • Drop your waste at the location during the hours listed; please don’t leave waste at the premises if you can’t locate the collection bin.
  • Only drop the type of waste listed. Not all collection points collect all types of waste. In other words, please don’t drop waste such as baby pouches at a location that isn’t accepting baby pouches.
  • Acknowledge the person or organisation collecting the community’s waste – let them know that they’re awesome and spread the word!

23 thoughts on “5 Benefits of Being a Public Drop-off Location

  1. I have signed up for the scheme however as a library we do not have the funds to pay for the boxes.
    Can i not use a box of our own (recycling) and then send that back via delivery service?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michaela, thanks for commenting. We’re sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Once you’ve signed up to the scheme, we can send you a free collection box. We advise using a regular cardboard box / parcel to for UPS to collect the waste. Please keep your collection box separate (it is a branded, free standing collection box to only be used as a collection bin rather than to be sent back to us in). I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thanks, Louise


      1. Who collects the boxes when they are full and what do you do with the tetracycline when it is collected ?


  2. I am looking into making my secondary school collect for Terracycle. Can I make it so the points can be put back into the same school to be used?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nikki, thanks for commenting. Yes, absolutely. Please let us know if we can help with anything else. Thanks!


  3. I’d love to set one of these up in our local village. I’m a member of our village residents group. We have raised money for our village such as a defibrillator, but are not officially a registered charity. Could we use the points towards our village group?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m thinking of setting up a public drop off point for Tassimo pods as there isn’t one anywhere near us. I read you supply a collection box. Is it suitable for outside or will I need to put a bin or something for people to put their pods in? Many thanks.


    1. Hello Mandy, thank you for your comment. The box we send is a cardboard box, so it’s not suitable for outside. 🙂


  5. Hello, could I have more information about being a public drop off point please. Don’t quite understand how it all works, and how the points are gained and what can you use the for. Thank you.


  6. Can we set up a Public Drop that’s open once a month? I’m thinking of widening what I already do to help our local community. My idea is that once a month we take over the village hall, everyone can drop in what they’ve collected and get involved in sorting it straight into the boxes to be shipped (if we get to the minimum weight). In this way it’s manageable because everyone pitches in, it’s quick to sort stuff out, everyone learns about the various schemes and as a community it’s a chance for everyone to get together (rather than one poor person spending hours doing the sorting on their own). Would this idea work for terracycle? I think it would be a great model to showcase if we can get it working well.


    1. Hi there, my apologies for the late reply.
      That’s a great initiative!
      If the programme still accepts applications for new public drop-ff locations, you can apply to set up one. You can send in parcels whenever you want, as long as you send one at least every six months.
      If you have any further question about setting up your public drop-off location, do not hesitate to email our Customer Service Team at customersupport@terracycle.co.uk, and they’ll be able to help you out.
      Best wishes, Claire


  7. Hi, we started collecting crisps packets in our local community centre but didn’t reach the minimum weight before the account was cancelled. We now have a huge amount of empty crisp packets. Please can you let me know the address to return them too, We will cover the postage costs.


  8. We are thiking of doing this in our village. I clicked on the biscuit and snacks programme lnk but the pager showed as an error. Does this mena you can’t collect these itmes. thanks


    1. Hi Justina, my apologies for the late reply.
      If you’re still interested in this programme, please try this link: http://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/pladis.
      However, please note that this programme is full at the moment, so we can’t open more public drop-off locations but you can still collect your waste and drop it off at an existing one which you can find on the map linked on the link above.
      I hope this helps.
      Best wishes, Claire


  9. I’d like to set this up in my local GP surgery is that an option? Do we just transfer the collected blister packs to a normal cardboard box to send to you, and what is the UPS cost?


    1. Hi Liz, thanks for your question.
      If you’re talking about the Medicine Packet Recycling Programme, only registered pharmacies can sign-up as a public drop-off location. You can find more information about the programme here: http://www.terracycle.com/medicine-packet-uk.
      Feel free to email our Customer Service Team at customersupport@terracycle.co.uk with more details, so they can confirm if that location could be accepted.
      If you’re accepted in one of our programmes, you can then use any box (we advise using old delivery ones for example rather than buying brand-new ones) to send in your waste, and the shipping is free for you, as you’ll be able to download a pre-paid UPS label from your TerraCycle account once registered.
      I hope this explanation helps.
      Best wishes, Claire


  10. Do you do a poster A4 that I can copy and print to put up around my area of where my local drop off is for the public . ( space left at the bottom) where I can put the address on myself . It would really promote it near me and the public would know where my local pick up is as there’s no advertising as it’s inside a solicitor s shop thank you .. much appreciated heather


    1. Hi Heather, thanks for your question.
      Unfortunately, we don’t have a poster like this, but I’ll transfer your feedback to the team in case we create new posters in the future.
      However, you can use our Accepted Waste or Promotional Posters (which you can find at the bottom of the programme page). You’re welcome to add the address of your public drop-off location on it when printing to promote your location.
      I hope this helps.
      Best wishes, Claire


  11. I am considering registering as a collection point to raise funds for my chorus which is a registered charity. However I can’t find any information that outlines the financial benefit. For example :- How much weight = one point and how many points are required to receive a pound in money? Thank you


    1. Hi Stella, thanks for your interest!
      Each programme offers different rewards according to the weight of the waste collected. You can find all the information about the rewarding system on each of our programme pages in the ‘Rewards’ section.
      You can see which programmes we’re currently running, as well as how to join them, by clicking here: http://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades. Please note, any programmes that state ‘Drop-off Locations Only’ are now at full capacity and therefore we can no longer add any new public drop-off locations. When you find a recycling programme you’re interested in, please read the ‘How it Works’ section on the page for further information and steps to join.
      Hope this helps,
      Nahia ♻️


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s