While the national recycling rate is 30%, Chicagoland residents recycle roughly 20% of waste, according to national and local recycling data. Exactly what people can recycle is expanding beyond the typical paper and aluminum products. Recycling the nearly unrecyclable is not a futuristic idea. That’s thanks to innovation happening right now in the western suburbs that could help Chicagoland reduce waste.

Plastic and aluminized chip bags, tens of thousands of contact blister packs, used bath products, cosmetics, childrens’ toys and even cigarette butts are all packed into a 140,000 square foot facility in Aurora. TerraCycle is working to recycle and reuse what was once thought of as unrecyclable. While there are companies focused on recycling single products, for example recycling just batteries or only cosmetic products, TerraCycle claims it is the only company working to recycle hundreds of waste streams.

Tom Szaky is the CEO of the recycling company, working to take what would normally be landfill waste and bring it back to the consumer ecosystem. The money to do it comes through brand underwriting, corporate and municipal partnerships and paid consumer programs. “TerraCycle, now across 20 countries, is focused on how do we eliminate the idea of waste,” Szaky said.

To read the full story, visit https://abc7chicago.com/post/terracycle-aurora-recycling-plant-working-reduce-waste-chicago/14946310/.
Author: Mark Rivera, ABC 7 Chicago
Image: ABC 7 Chicago