How to recycle candy wrappers after Halloween…when they AREN’T Single Stream recyclable
Tis the season for the ghosts and ghouls to come a-knocking-and they’re all looking for candy! Halloween is a fun holiday whether you are a trick-or-treater, or handing out goodies at your door, but however you celebrate one thing is for sure-at the end of the night you are left with a big pile of (NON-recyclable) candy wrappers.
As many of you know, candy wrappers, (as well as wrappers for many common snacks such as energy bars, cookies and chips) are not accepted with your single stream recycling. They are considered contaminants and cannot be processed at our recycling processing facility, The American Recycling Center.
This is disheartening considering how prevalent these goodies are, but fear not, wrappers do have alternative means for disposal.
Terracycle® and Upcyling
Much like plastic bags, which are also a contaminant and must be brought to drop off locations in order to be recycled, wrappers too have their own special process they must go through in order to be made into new goods. You can begin the process of recycling your wrappers by contacting Terracycle®
Terracycle® is a company that provides free collection programs for hard to recycle materials which they then turn into affordable green products. In addition to recycling these materials Terracycle also uses upcycling to create new goods.
Upcycling means the materials are re-used to make new things without disturbing their original form. For example: sewing potato chip bags together to create an eye-catching backpack or purse.
On the contrary, recycling means melting a product down until it is unrecognizable, then using that raw material to create another product, like creating park benches or composite timber from melted down plastic bags and films.
Upcycling at Home
Upcycling your own wrappers after Halloween is not only thrifty and environmentally friendly but it can also provide you with countless fun projects!
Here are some ideas for products you can create at home with hard to recycle goods, like those numerous candy wrappers.
1. Candy Wrapper Jewelry
2. Candy Wrapper Coasters
3. Candy Wrapper Purse or Tote
To Wrap Up…
Weather you send your wrappers in to collection companies, like Terracycle®, or use them at home to make your own funky new goods, we hope you will think twice before throwing these items in the trash.
Remember, while not all items are Single Stream recyclable, almost all man made products can be upcycled or recycled in some way, it’s just a matter of getting creative and utilizing great free collection services like Terracycle®.