Terracycle is a program that was started in the middle of the Fall 2011 semester here at SUNY New Paltz and has quickly gained recognition around campus. Terracycle is a company that sponsors the recycling of items that are not usually recycled such as chip bags, candy wrappers, drink pouches, etc. The three collection bins around campus are located on the first floor of the Student Union building, the first floor of Hasbrouck Dining Hall, and the Backstage Café at Parker Theater.
Recycling Club and I collected the chip bags about every two weeks since the bins were introduced and have noticed considerable progress. At the first collection the bin in the Student Union Building had 15 chip bags and the bin in Hasbrouck Dining Hall had 16 chip bags. We collected 25 chip bags from the Student Union Terracycle bin and 27 from the one in Hasbrouck Dining Hall. At the final collection of the semester the Student Union bin had 41 chip bags, the Hasbrouck Dining Hall bin had 62 chip bags, and the Parker Theater bin had 10 chip bags. Overall we have collected 196 chip bags! Since the bins were first put out 2 out of 3 bins have had at least 10 more chip bags at the second and third collections.
In the Spring 2012 semester we are looking to expand the Terracycle program to the residence halls and increase awareness of the program around campus. I think the program has been a great success and will continue to succeed this semester and we have saved 196 chip bags from going to a landfill! These bags will be used to make tote bags, messenger bags, and 3 ring binders. Also with each bag saved we receive $0.02 per bag that can be donated to a variety of charities on the Terracycle website. Through recycling items usually thrown away Terracycle has raised over $3 million for charity! To check out more information go to: www.terracycle.net