Recycling centre

Have you heard that Terracycle have recently introduced a new recycling scheme for writing implements? They’ve partnered with Bic and will accept any branded plastic pen, felt tip, highlighter, marker, mechanical pencil, correction fluid bottle (empty of course). These items will be sorted, their different materials separated, be processed into small pellets and then made into new (recycled) products!

Recycled writing pens

This is such an easy program for people to participate in. You can set up a public collection point at your children’s school, your workplace or community group. Not only is it encouraging people to divert waste from landfill, schools or charities can earn money. I reckon this form of fundraising is far superior to selling chocolates!

Pen recycling

So what can you do at home?

Well we’ve set up our own mini recycling centre to act as our collection point for our pens and textas and also a range of other waste materials that can be recycled separately to the kerbside recycling collection. You’re probably aware of various groups that collect bread tags and bottle tops and that dead batteries can be recycled via Aldi. But it can get a bit overwhelming!

Recycled items

Here’s my simple “how to” guide to set up your own recycling centre!

1. Designate a space where you want to house your collections. It could be under the kitchen sink, in the laundry, a cupboard or even outside. Make it somewhere you can easily access and will remember to use it.

2. Reuse old jars, empty containers, boxes or bags to put your items in. Label them with what you’re collecting in each container. It might also be handy to write where you are sending these things. For example, the bottle tops are collected by Envision (and there’s a local drop off spot near our school). You might want to write a list.

Pen recycling

3. Start collecting! Even the kids can do this. Finished a bottle of milk? Get your little assistant to clean the lid and pop it into the right collection box. Polished off another bottle of wine? Put that cork aside!

4. Once your collections are full (or as convenient for you) drop the items to the right locations.

That’s it!

Now that we’ve entered “Spring Cleaning” season, it’s the perfect time to start. Everyone is cleaning, decluttering and perhaps getting ready for the upcoming ‘Garage Sale Trail’! Encourage the family to recycle the items that are ready to be thrown out.

A good activity for the kids is to go through their textas and pens that no longer work and separate them into your recycling centre collection point. If you want to take it a step further, you could always try a waste audit. Weigh your landfill waste and your recycling waste on bin night, note the amounts and check again in a few months time. Perhaps you’ll notice a reduction in one or both waste streams.

Dead textas

Every little bit you do helps and our planet needs more people like you who are concerned enough to do something about our waste issues.

The Terracycle website has heaps of information on how to start, resources you can download and support. Check the website here:

I’d love to know how you go!