Recycling the hard-to-recycle in Littleton, MA
Keep in mind: Since TerraCycle's "brigade/categories" are sponsored by the companies who make the products, it matters more what the plastic used to hold, rather than the *type* of plastic it is. So while we cannot accept packaging for batteries, we *can* accept packaging for toothbrushes, which is often the same type of plastic. This can be confusing, because in regular recycling we're conditioned to think about the *type* of plastic; For Terra-Cycling, we need to think more about *what the container used to hold*. Thank you!
What to recycle: (please check regularly - this list changes as TerraCycle both adds and *removes* programs. Last updated: 11/16/2023 - no more food storage containers accepted)
Air fresheners - cartridges and plugs, packaging, and trigger spray heads; (empty, no aerosols)
Blades and razors - (systems and disposable units, and replaceable-blade cartridge units), rigid plastic packaging, and flexible plastic bag packaging
Candy wrappers - for a limited time only (the type you might get for Trick or Treat) - please put in a separate bag (paper or plastic) for ease of handling. This collection is sponsored by Rubicon, not TerraCycle. They will not take other snack packaging - only candy wrappers.
Cell phone cases
Cleaning products - empty cleaning product pumps and trigger heads (ie for soap, glass cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners) - please don't leave the bottles which can be recycled curbside
Deodorant empty plastic containers (no aerosols)
Drink pouches - Aluminum and plastic drink pouches (no need to remove the straws) - please rinse out thoroughly first.
Fruit/Vegetable/Dairy squeezable snack food pouches only - not flexible plastic bags for frozen or fresh veggies or yogurts, and please rinse out the pouches thoroughly first
Hairbrushes/Combs - FOR A LIMITED TIME: hairbrushes, combs and hair appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, and styling irons (NO scissors, NO electric razors)
Inkjet and Laser cartridges (empty only)
Oral Care - Empty Toothpaste tubes and caps, dental floss containers, manual toothbrushes (no electric toothbrushes - but the toothbrush heads are now recyclable through https://recycling.oralb.com/! ), interdental brushes, and sample-sized mouthwash containers
Performance nutrition packaging - includes energy chews packets; energy gel packets; hydration, recovery, and energy drink mix stick packs and packets; GU Energy Gel 15-Serving pouches; and energy stroopwafel wrapper
Personal care or cosmetic containers that are not curbside-recyclable - includes empty hair care, skin care, and cosmetics containers. Or if you live close to a Nordstroms, you can bring them there: https://www.nordstrom.com/browse/nordstrom-cares/get-involved/nordstrom-beauty-cycle
Socks - clean and dry - please place in separate bag so they stay clean! Holes and odd socks welcome.
The items below are brand-specific. For these items, PLEASE do not leave brands which are not specified below, as they will be thrown away.
Dunkin' brand ground and whole bean flexible coffee bags (just the coffee bags & closures - NO OTHER BRANDS PLEASE)
Gerber Baby food plastic packaging - Gerber brand only - they stopped taking other brands. (please clean thoroughly first) (flexible or rigid plastic packaging, shrink labels, plastic containers, plastic lids, flexible plastic pouches)
Mountain House packaging
Pet food (bags/pouches of specified brands only): Eukanuba, Halo, Open Farm, Royal Canin, and Wellness brands (sorry, no Purina or other brands not on this list - you may take those to Wag N Wash).
PopSockets grips, mounts, wallets, and similar phone accessories, as well as PopSockets packaging.
Spin Master toys and games (except Kinetic Sand) - list here: https://www.spinmaster.com/en-US/toys-and-games/
Swiffer refills (Sweeper, Duster, and WetJet pads) - please dry first, and put in separate bag - it will be recycled too!
Tide/Gain/Downy/Dreft: All NON-curbside-RECYCLABLE fabric care products and packaging from brands Tide, Gain, Downy & Dreft, including plastic components (dispensing cup, bag, nozzle, nozzle clip), and plastic packaging wrap, flexible plastic bags, and Tide To Go pen. NO DETERGENT JUGS (which are usually recyclable curbside)
VTech and LeapFrog electronic learning devices and toys (please remove batteries first)
Yankee Candle®, WoodWick® and Chesapeake Bay Candle® home fragrance products and packaging (even the glass jars that the candles come in)
Please do NOT leave the following: (disposing of these costs us both time and money)
NO Aerosols of any kind (cannot be sent to Terracycle due to transport rules)
NO Batteries (but you can bring them to Staples for recycling)
NO Blister packs that held batteries, hand or power tools, lamps, plumbing supplies, and other items not on the "what to collect" list - no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Cake decorating tubes (There is no Terracycle brigade for these. It matters more what the tube used to hold, rather than its composition. This is because the corporate sponsors only pay for containers which held the type of product they themselves sell.)
NO Electric toothbrushes, hairdryers, computer keyboards (No Terracycle brigade for these - please save them for Zero Waste Day in Littleton or other nearby town having an electronics waste collection)
NO Eyeglasses- no TerraCycle brigade for these, but try your local Lion's Club
NO Food storage containers - TerraCycle brigade has closed for these
NO Frozen food bags- no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Full containers (containers should be empty - this is getting to be a big problem, so PLEASE empty your containers!)
NO Glue sticks or tape dispensers - no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Pet food bags of the wrong brand, cat litter bags, bird food bags - no TerraCycle brigade for these. However, you may wish to check out Wag N' Wash, which has of 10/2023 partnered with TerraCycle to recycle all brands of empty flexible plastic pet food and treat bags (of any species of pet!) at participating Pet Supplies Plus and Wag N’ Wash stores.
NO Perfume bottles - no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Plastic film (this can be recycled in many grocery stores - check plasticfilmrecycling.org for info on where, and see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOz2P3QiP8o for what can/cannot be recycled in the plastic film bins). If you give us plastic wrap that's not from packaging on the "what to recycle" list above, we will throw it out. This costs us time and money.
NO Plastic lids from items not listed above. (Plastic lids from plastic jars/bottles that are recyclable in your normal recycling should be screwed onto the container they came from before recycling. If you can't do that but want the lids recycled, please see https://www.preserve.eco/pages/faqs )
NO Plastic plant/flower pots (bring them to the garden center at Home Depot or Lowes for recycling)
NO Pots/pans/cookware, bakeware, and cutlery (no longer any TerraCycle brigade for these)
NO Medical equipment including tubes that contained bodily fluids or medications
NO Nail polish/nail polish remover (hazardous waste)
NO Smoke alarms - no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Soup boxes or other aseptic Tetra Pak box packaging- no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Squeegies, or plastic cutlery- no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Tape Dispensers - no TerraCycle brigade for these
NO Vitamin/mineral/supplement bottles and medical ointment containers - the Terracycle brigade which accepted these items has closed.
NO Watercolor dispensers and paint sets - the TerraCycle brigade has closed for these.
NO Writing instruments (ie empty pens, markers, and mechanical pencils) - the TerraCycle brigade has closed for these, but you can bring them to Staples for recycling