New life for old butts

Jeff Brandstater, Director of Brandtser Services & Anna Minns, GM of TerraCycle Australia with just a small portion of cigarette butts that have been collected at Brandster Services, where "there's no butts about it!" they recycle the "unrecyclable".

Jeff Brandstater, Director of Brandtser Services & Anna Minns, GM of TerraCycle Australia with just a small portion of cigarette butts that have been collected at Brandster Services, where "there's no butts about it!" they recycle the "unrecyclable".

DID you know binning butts is as bad as throwing them onto the street?

St Marys' liquid waste management facility Brandster Services has teamed up with recycling company TerraCycle Australia as a storage centre for "unrecyclable" cigarettes, oral care waste, coffee capsules and cleaning product pumps, which are then processed into other products.

People, schools and businesses can send their waste to TerraCycle Australia free via Australia Post to be recycled and receive two cents an item in return.

Over half a million cigarette butts have been collected by consumers, anti-litter groups and businesses since Clean Up Australia Day in March.

This is the first time Australia's second most littered item can be recycled.

The filter is mixed with other plastics to reduce the toxins so it can be recycled as plastic. The rest of the cigarette is turned into compost.

Established in the US in 2001, TerraCycle is in 25 countries and launched in Australia this year.

"Our goal is to divert as much waste from landfill as possible," TerraCycle Australia general manager Anna Minns said.

"Putting cigarette butts in the bin is as harmful to the environment as littering it."

TerraCycle Australia has developed a good relationship with Brandster Services.

"We were looking to partner with a warehouse to store our waste and they loved the social aspect of it," Ms Minns said.

Go to terracycle.com.au to download a shipping label to send your unrecyclable waste for free.

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