Millersville TerraCycle Program

Millersville TerraCycle

By Evan Florence

Millersville University proudly implements a TerraCycling program at all of their dorms. The TerraCycle program is designed to eliminate the idea of waste. TerraCycling is a world wide program that is free. This program pays out $.01 – $10.00 per item to your school or non profit organizations. Smile Train is a non profit organization that helps poverty children around the world that suffer from clefts.

These children are born with openings or splits in their mouth and lip. This gives them a hard time to do the most simplest things like eating or speaking. World wide 1 in every 700 Children are born with cleft. This disease is mostly prevalent in developing countries. With today’s technology surgery is a quick and easy fix for as little as $250, but most developing world families can’t afford that. Programs like the one at  Millersville uses this TerraCycle program to help support Smile Train and give those kids hope. TerraCycling is implemented at all Millersville dorms, but when I asked multiple students living  their about TerraCycle only a handful knew what it was.

The Director of the Center for Sustainability Dr. Nadine Garner puts TerraCycle into a very simple 3 step process.

1)      Collect your waste items that are accepted by TerraCycle

2)      Give your waste to the Center for Sustainability

3)      Save a life

I conducted a recent poll of Millersville students that shows they are not at all aware of what this program is. In fact 75% of the students answered I don’t know what TerraCycle is or got it completely wrong. About half the students did say they would regularly practice this waste management technique at the dorms after hearing about the program. Most TerraCycle bins are located at the end the the hallways, by study rooms, and lounge areas.  

Photo by Evan Florence

Photo by Evan Florence


The Inside Scoop: Interviews about TerraCycle

I decided to sit down with two freshman students Josh Bryan and Collin Fairchild who knew about TerraCycle and ask them about what they see as the positives of TerraCycle. They Both live in the South dorms on Millersville’s campus. 

Do you see Millersville’s TerraCycle program as sustainable?

Josh: Yes, I see it as very sustainable. It is a program that speaks go green. They try to get rid of waste in total. I didn’t really know much about it when I first came here as a freshmen, but when I read more into it I found out how great it was. It’s hard for me to throw anything away in the dumpsters outside because of TerraCycle.

Collin: I see it as sustainable because of the cause that all this TerraCycle is for. I’ve seen pictures of those kids who suffer from clefts and I just want to help them. I’m grateful for the world I’m in now and for all the luxuries that I have and those kids don’t. So if TerraCycling is a way to help them, I’m going to do it as much as possible.

Photo by Evan Florence

Background About TerraCycle

The TerraCycling Program first began in 2001 when a freshman at Princeton University Tom Szaky observed red worms eating food scraps. He then used the fertilizer from the red worms to feed his plants. Thus the TerraCycling method was invented. Tom’s invention caught the eye of Home Depot and Walmart. As of now both super stores use Tom’s TerraCycling plant food across North America. In 2009 TerraCycling first went global branching of into the UK, Brazil, and Canada. Now you can find TerraCycling in more than 20 different countries. TerraCycle offers 9 different fertilizing products, seed starter, and potting mix. TerraCycling has evolved from first starting out as just eliminating kitchen scraps to now a zero waste formula.

Zero Waste Project

TerraCycling Zero Waste Box started 2014. They wanted to bring recycling to all possibilities of waste. They began to recycle coffee capsules, three ring binders, cigarettes, and cosmetic waste. This caught the attention of Staples who partnered with Zero Waste Boxes to make the world more sustainable. This project was inducted into the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards Hall of Fame. This program is now all across large convenient stores including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Walgreens. There are thousands of TerraCycle products. You can find these TerraCycling products on Capri Sun bottles, Britas, baby food pouches, Colgate, Cliff Bars, and even on certain pet foods.


Recycle everything with TerraCycle®. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2018, from   

Birth Defects. (2017, June 27). Retrieved April 25, 2018, from

Dunn, J. (2007, January 01). Terracycle Blog. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from

Smile Train. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2018, from

Florence, Evan TerraCycle Poll of Millersville Students

Garner, N. (n.d.). TerraCycle at the ‘Ville-age. Retrieved from

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