Skip to content

New recycling trend: door-to-door pic-up service for special waste

Photo Credits: TerraCycle

In both Europe and the USA, door-to-door recycling is going smoothly. However, many types of waste are still generated in households that cannot be assigned to the usual recycling categories such as glass, paper, packaging or organic waste. To address this problem, new collection services are increasingly being launched, particularly in the USA, to collect hazardous waste from private households.

This includes plastic film, clamshells, polystyrene, batteries, light bulbs and textiles. The individual collection services take these collected to special companies that reuse or recycle the materials. Individual households pay a fee for the collection service, which usually takes place once or twice a month.

While drop-off or send-in programmes already exist for many of these items, the home collection concept focuses on consumer convenience.

“The idea was if we could make it easy for people by identifying ways to reuse and recycle things and then make it easy for people to bring those things to the organisations, more people would choose to do that,” said Caleb Weaver, vice president of public affairs at Seattle-based specialty recycling service Ridwell. “And of course, now that idea has grown.

CEO Ryan Metzger started Ridwell four years ago as a project with his young son to collect his and his neighbours’ discarded but still valuable items and take them to recyclers. Ridwell now works for six major cities, although the items accepted vary slightly depending on the recycling partners in each region. Generally, the items accepted fall into one of four main categories: Plastic film, textiles, batteries and light bulbs.

A similar company emerged on the East Coast when Rabbit Recycling launched in Philadelphia about two years ago. Co-founder Bryan Siegfried was looking for a practical solution for his community to recycle items they normally couldn’t, and to rethink the traditional recycling system. Rabbit accepts a variety of items, including snack wrappers, foam and rubber bands.

“Our business model is convenient and transparent, making it easy for people to move towards reducing waste,” says Zoe Fuhrman, project manager at Rabbit Recycling. Finding places to recycle items that are not normally accepted at the kerbside is too much for a single person to do unless they have a lot of time, and most people don’t.”

This home pick-up idea is not just for start-ups. For more than 15 years, TerraCycle has organised collection programmes for hard-to-recycle items like coffee capsules, cosmetics packaging and cigarette butts – most of them via drop-off or mail-in systems. In September, the company launched its first residential collection service, TerraCycle Home, in New Jersey and part of Pennsylvania.

Explore the Mediterranean Aboard 36M Azimut OCEAN ONE

Explore the Mediterranean Aboard 36M Azimut OCEAN ONE

Step into a world of Italian elegance and cutting-edge design with OCEAN ONE, a stunning 36-meter luxury motor yacht. Delivered…
Benetti Dyna® B.Now 50 for Luxury charter in the Mediterranean

Benetti Dyna® B.Now 50 for Luxury charter in the Mediterranean

Prepare to be enchanted by DYNA R, the newest addition to the world of luxury yacht charters. Scheduled to make…
Rossinavi Unveils the Seawolf X - A Hybrid-Electric Marvel

Rossinavi Unveils the Seawolf X - A Hybrid-Electric Marvel

Rossinavi, renowned for its prowess in luxury yacht craftsmanship, has once again pushed the boundaries of innovation with the launch…
Saudi MEGA Marina projects under the spotlight, NEOM

Saudi MEGA Marina projects under the spotlight, NEOM

The Greek government has recently taken significant steps towards enhancing its marine tourism and yachting infrastructure to keep pace with…

Subscribe To Our newsletter


Back To Top

Stay in touch with Marine Project

If you want to keep updated of the Marine Project latest news, special offers, investment, please take a minute and confirm your newsletter subscription today.

Marine Project Inc. will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us