What is the difference between private collectors and public drop-off points?

Our free recycling programmes have two main ways in which you can get involved. 

  • Private Collectors

You can join a programme by becoming a private collector. Private collectors usually send in recycling they have accumulated themselves at home. Private collectors registered for a programme are able to download prepaid shipping labels to send their recycling back to us. None of your details are displayed publicly on our website.

  • Public Drop-Off Points

A public drop-off point is a community recycling station for TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes. These programmes are funded by brands and are therefore completely free for any local business, community organisation or educational institution to implement.

Public drop-off points are also displayed on our map to allow communities to recycle together. In other words, people can bring their hard-to-recycle items to public drop-off points to be sent to TerraCycle for recycling.

Both public and private collectors can earn points and redeem them for donations to a non-profit or school of their choice when a parcel meets the minimum weight requirement.

The steps to send us the recycling remain the same for private collectors and public drop-off point administrators but as public drop-off points generally send in larger parcels, the shipping is more efficient and better for the environment.

Some programmes are only available for instore drop-off.

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