How the Zero Waste Box™ System Works

The Zero Waste Box™ system is the all-in-one recycling solution from TerraCycle® that can be used by everyone to recycle everything.

With our box, pouch, and pallet solutions, it is easy to make a positive impact and reduce what you send to landfill. The Zero Waste Box system is a perfect option for any home, school, or business.

Find out which Zero Waste Box system is right for you with this short quiz.

How it works

OrderSelect a Zero Waste Box system and place your order. Choose from small, medium, and large boxes, as well as pouch and pallet options for select items.

Collect - Collect the accepted items to fill the box, pouch, or pallet.

ShipSend it back to TerraCycle! Boxes and pouches ship free with a prepaid return label.

ReorderOrder your next Zero Waste Box system to continue to recycle everything.

How we recycle

Everything collected through the Zero Waste Box system is sorted and processed into raw materials that can be reused instead of being sent to landfill. Read below to learn how different types of materials are recycled.

  • PLASTICS: Plastics are separated by number, melted down, and turned into pellets that can be molded and extruded to produce new products.
  • METALS: Metals are separated by type and smelted into ingots for reuse.
  • GLASS: Glass is cleaned and sorted by color for processing. It is then crushed and melted to be used in new glass products.
  • ORGANICS: Organics are composted or used in industrial and commercial fertilizers.
  • FIBERS: Fibers will be hydropulped to separate out wax or plastic coatings. The separated fiber will be recycled into new paper products, or composted if recycling is not possible. Any resulting plastics will be recycled into plastic polymers.
  • FABRICS: Textiles are sorted by type and are recycled, upcycled, or reused as appropriate. Textiles of mixed fibers are converted to energy. Natural fiber textiles (cotton) are turned into a "shoddy" or insulation. Synthetic fiber textiles (polyester) are pelletized and made into new plastic products. 
  • ELECTRONICS: Electronics collected for recycling, also known as e-waste, are mechanically and manually separated into metals and plastics. Salvageable materials are refurbished and reused. All data is wiped, but we advise restoring your device to factory settings before sending it in.
  • COOKING OIL: Cooking oil will be consolidated by our brand partner American By-Products Recyclers and turned into biodiesel or mechanical lubricants.
  • CIGARETTES: Cigarettes are shredded and separated into plastics, papers, and organics.
  • LATEX PAINTS: Latex paint is separated into water and solids, which are then run through an extruder. The water is stripped from the materials as water vapor and the solids are melted and formed into pellets. The pellets can be used as a base for colorants or as additives to other recycled polymers.
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