GreenUP volunteer Alero drops off her used toothpaste tubes at the hard-to-recycle station at the Peterborough GreenUP Store and Resource Centre in downtown Peterborough. Along with oral care waste and packaging, you can drop off flexible coffee bags, air and home care recycling, and razors and shaving items. The items will be shipped to Terracycle to be diverted from landfills and recycled into raw material. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP)

GreenUP volunteer Alero drops off her used toothpaste tubes at the hard-to-recycle station at the Peterborough GreenUP Store and Resource Centre in downtown Peterborough. Along with oral care waste and packaging, you can drop off flexible coffee bags, air and home care recycling, and razors and shaving items. The items will be shipped to Terracycle to be diverted from landfills and recycled into raw material. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP)

By: Eileen Kimmett

We live in a world where throwaway culture, overconsumption and single-use item usage has become the norm. This norm has caused a global waste crisis, an environmental nightmare. Our oceans are filling with plastic and we have no solution in sight. The crisis is becoming increasingly worse by the day.

In the province of Ontario, where new Circular Materials legislation is now in place, we are in a new era of waste management in which producers have responsibility for the collection of the packaging their stores create. Systems level change is desperately needed to address the crisis.

GreenUP is looking for interim solutions to help our community to avoid contributing to the waste crisis. In addition to the zero-waste home and body products available at our Store & Resource Centre, GreenUP strives to help people manage their waste from some single-use items by collecting them!

Everything is technically recyclable; some items are more difficult to recycle and therefore not profitable to recycle. Terracycle is a company that strives to globally keep trash out of landfills by turning hard to recycle items back into raw materials. This also eliminates the need to mine and process raw materials.

During summer of 2023, GreenUP began a Hard-to-Recycle program, we collect items from the community and box them to return to be recycled by Terracycle. Read below to learn what is accepted in each Recycling Program here at GreenUP. Through this program to date GreenUP supporters have diverted 54.2lbs of single-use items from the landfill.

GreenUP is collecting four types of trash in our free Hard to Recycle drop off station. We accept flexible coffee bags, oral care waste and packaging, air and home care recycling, and razors and shaving items.

The hard-to-recycle station at the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre accepts a variety of oral care items, including toothpaste tubes and caps, plastic toothbrushes, oral care plastic packaging, dental floss, and dental floss containers. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP

The hard-to-recycle station at the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre accepts a variety of oral care items, including toothpaste tubes and caps, plastic toothbrushes, oral care plastic packaging, dental floss, and dental floss containers. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP

Flexible Coffee Bags  –  All brands of plastic flexible coffee bags.

Oral Care Waste and Packaging – All brands of oral care waste is accepted. This includes toothpaste tubes and caps, plastic toothbrushes, oral care plastic packaging, dental flossers, and floss containers.

Air and Home Care Recycling – All brands of air care and home care product packaging, and specifically trigger heads, pump caps, spray nozzles, air fresheners and refills, flexible cleaning wipe packaging and air and home care product plastic packaging.

Razor Recycling – All brands of razors, including razor systems, disposable razors and replaceable blade cartridges, razor blades, rigid plastic packaging and flexible plastic packaging.

After GreenUP has shipped the Hard-to-Recycle items to Terracycle, the items are turned into raw material and sold to manufacturing companies who make new products from it. By participating, your old toothbrush or coffee bag may more easily be turned into plant pots, playground surfaces, watering cans, outdoor furniture, products for the construction industry or other goods. Programs like this one are part of a circular economy and can reduce dependence on resource extraction.

GreenUP is also a drop-off location for used Batteries. Call2Recycle manages the collection and the recycling of used batteries across Peterborough.

You can also drop off your used batteries at the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre’s hard-to-recycle station. The batteries are properly recycled by Call2Recycle, a not-for-profit organization in Toronto. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP)

You can also drop off your used batteries at the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre’s hard-to-recycle station. The batteries are properly recycled by Call2Recycle, a not-for-profit organization in Toronto. (Photo: Eileen Kimmett / GreenUP)

Batteries contain chemical compounds and metal components can have a harmful impact if disposed of in a landfill. Properly disposing used batteries is essential to protecting our environment and used batteries have valuable materials that can be recycled.

Batteries that can be dropped off at GreenUP are single-use and rechargeable batteries weighing 5kg or less. These include: alkaline, lithium primary, lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, small sealed lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, and nickel-zinc batteries. Wet-cell, damaged, or defective batteries are not accepted.

Recycling is a collective responsibility and an important part of Peterborough’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint by reusing waste materials. By dropping off the Hard-to-Recycle items on this list at GreenUP, you can help bring our community one step closer to a greener lifestyle, a circular economy, and a cleaner environment.