TRENTON — Headquartered in New Jersey's capital city, TerraCycle has brought its mission of trying to recycle the unrecyclable across the United States and into 20 more countries in the last two decades.

But a new initiative has the company thinking small — for now.

Founder and CEO Tom Szaky said he hopes the newly-launched TerraCycle Home service, offered to residents in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset, and Union counties as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania, will eventually go global as well.

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Szaky said the idea is for people to be able to rid their houses of things they can't put into blue bins for local pickup, all without going beyond their front stoop.

He's talking about items like cosmetics, eyeglasses, pet food packaging, personal protective equipment, and even one of the most traditional forms of litter, cigarette butts.

Subscribers can sign up to receive the service either once or twice a month.

"We send you a drop bin that you can put out on your curb, then you can take certain TerraCycle Zero Waste bags, each one for different waste streams, and start collecting and recycling those materials," Szaky said. "Once full, you put it into your TerraCycle Home box on the front of your porch, request a pickup, and then we pick it up directly from your home and recycle everything inside."

As Szaky puts it, TerraCycle Home aims to bridge the gaps between what residents think is easily recyclable and what isn't, and between what municipal utilities think they can recycle on the cheap and what they can't.

Really in the world, almost everything is technically recyclable. What tends to make our aluminum can highly recyclable in our local recycling systems is that garbage companies can make money at it," he said. "We need to make recycling as easy as absolutely possible. Folks are really busy, there's a lot going on that we have to think about beyond recycling, and so our job is to try to make it as convenient as possible, as easy to use.

A release from TerraCycle said a portion of the items collected will be recycled into things such as benches that can be donated to parks in participating communities.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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