Do I have to pay to recycle through TerraCycle?

At TerraCycle, we offer both free and paid recycling solutions. We’re often asked why Zero Waste Boxes cost money while the free recycling programmes don’t have any fees for participating.

First, it’s important to highlight that no recycling is free. Someone is paying somewhere along the line.

Our “free” programmes are sponsored by brands willing to pay for the cost of collecting and recycling those products. 

The cost of a Zero Waste Box™ reflects the production of the box; transportation to you and then back to our recycling facilities; and the actual cost of sorting, cleaning, processing, and recycling the contents into raw formats. Check out the video overview of what happens to the items you send in a Zero Waste Box on this page.

We collect a broad range of items, which could comprise multiple materials (different types of plastic, metals, fabrics, etc.), so there is a lot more sorting and pre-processing at TerraCycle than the council recycling process service.

If you can’t find a free programme that accepts what you’d like to recycle, remember that on Earth Day – April 22 – TerraCycle is having a great sale on Zero Waste Boxes.

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