Now you can recycle cigarette butts

I run a coffee business, so I love to drink the stuff.Cigarette graphic

And on the days when I don't make a full pot, I use a coffee system to enjoy a single cup. But, it really frustrates me that the single-cup discs go out with the garbage.

That's slowly changing, thanks to a company called TerraCycle.

The global company's mandate is to collect "previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste". That includes things like Tassimo and Keurig single-cup containers, potato chip bags and even…wait for it...cigarette butts.

I know. I can't believe it, even cigarette butts.

Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, a 20-year-old Princeton University freshman, TerraCycle, Inc. began producing organic fertilizer by packaging liquified “worm poop” in used soda bottles. TerraCycle has since become one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world.

Along with recycling K-Cups, it also has programs to recycle cell phones, inkjet cartridges, cookie and cracker wrappers, drink pouches and miscellaneous e-waste.

But, back to the cigarette butts.

Cigarette filters were the number one item recovered during the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in 2013.

Two years ago, TerraCycle launched the Cigarette Waste Brigade in Canada. The collection program soon expanded into the US and Spain. Collected cigarette butts are recycled into plastic pellets and used to make industrial products like shipping pallets.

Want to do your part?

All you have to do is collect the butts and store them in a trash bag. Ship your collection in a cardboard box to TerraCycle by downloading a pre-paid shipping label from Call UPS for pick up 1-800-PICK UPS. That's it.

In addition, TerraCycle offers charitable donations for each pound of cigarette waste collected and mailed in.

TerraCycle has officially surpassed the 20-million milestone for recycled cigarette butts, one of the world’s most troublesome form of street litter.

As a member of the Town of Cobourg's environmental committee, I can tell you that we are looking into TerraCycle programs for this municipality.

This is one of the most exciting companies to come along in a long time.

Visit and do your part.

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