Recycling dental waste into marketing

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Recycling dental waste into marketing
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Fri. 28 December 2012


NEW YORK, N.Y., USA: An upcycling and recycling pioneer called TerraCycle runs a free recycling fundraiser to collect what otherwise would be non-recyclable oral-care waste. To keep more of this non-recyclable material out of landfills and help dental offices engage and market to local communities, it offers local public relations support to locations that sign up to collect this waste.

Becoming a community drop-off point can generate foot traffic and attract new patients. By collecting previously non-recyclable toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, toothpaste caps and floss containers, dental offices also can offer their patients and local community an easy way to earn extra funding for local schools or charities.

Anyone in your office can sign up at Print informative fliers, set up a collection bin in the waiting room, and when the box is full, print a pre-paid shipping labels to send it all to TerraCycle (six-pound minimum).

For each piece of packaging received, the office earns two points, which can be put toward buying a specific charity gift or converted to cash and given to a local charity that they choose. TerraCycle will recycle the collected packaging into plastic items such as park benches, recycling bins and plastic lumber.

Terracycle's Oral Care Brigade is sponsored by Colgate.

Colgate Oral Care Brigade

What kinds of packaging are acceptable?
Terracycle accepts any brand of used toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and plastic toothbrush packaging, excluding cardboard.

What do I need to sign up?
You need to provide: 1) a contact person to oversee the brigade at your location; 2) a valid email address; and 3) a valid mailing address. If you choose to redeem points toward a non-profit or charity of your choice, you will need the mailing address and contact information for the 501(c)3 charity and its Federal Tax ID number. If you do not have your own charity, you can choose to redeem your points toward one of TerraCycle's charitable gifts.

Do I have to pay for shipping?
No. You will be able to print pre-paid UPS shipping labels from the TerraCycle website through your online account. That's how your Colgate Oral Care Brigade collections get back to the TerraCycle factory to be up-cycled into TerraCycle eco-chic products. You win, Terracylcle wins, and the environment wins.

How do I ship collections to TerraCycle?
If you already have a reused box or bag, you can download your own pre-paid UPS return label by clicking the red “Ship Your Waste To Us” icon located on your account and select the Colgate Oral Care Brigade under the drop-down menu. Print the pre-paid label and affix it to the box and take it to your local UPS drop-off location. Or you can have TerraCycle ship two UPS pre-paid return labels, by clicking “Send Me Mailing Labels.” Your pre-paid return labels will be shipped to your address. Allow three to four weeks for delivery. Delivery times may vary depending on your location.

Is there a limit to how many pieces of packaging I can send in?
No, but because of the popularity of the Oral Care Brigade, to earn points on a shipment it must weigh a minimum of six pounds (about 200 items). For additional information, please see the “Shipping Instructions,” which you can download from the "Resources" tab located on your account.

(Sources: TerraCycle; Colgate)


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