TerraCycleDo you brush your teeth? Wash your hair? Eat grilled cheese? Have a young child? Bringing in an empty toothpaste tube, shampoo bottle, plastic cheese wrappers and plastic diaper/wipe packaging are just a few ways you can help the environment and support Columbia College’s Relay for Life efforts at the same time.

You might have noticed cardboard boxes stationed around the main campus that say “TerraCycle” on them. These boxes are collection points for your hard-to-recycle-but-still-actually-recyclable items.

TerraCycle operates by creating “brigades” of certain items which are otherwise not recyclable or more difficult to recycle. The Columbia College Relay for Life team is a member of six brigades right now and is on the wait list for more. Currently, our brigades are oral care, dairy tub, personal care & beauty, cheese packaging, energy bar and diaper packaging.

The team collects items for each brigade and mails them in to gain “points” that translate into donations to a nonprofit of our choice, the Relay for Life team’s choice being, of course, the American Cancer Society. The funds raised and donated will be calculated as part of the Relay for Life team’s fundraising total.

“Our goal is to make it a continuous program,” said Martha Smith, payroll specialist. “TerraCycle itself is an ongoing program, and since we fundraise year-round for The Relay we will continue to be members as long as we can keep gathering recyclables and keep people interested in the program.”

Another way to support the Relay for Life is through a Silent Auction in April. All funds raised from the auction go toward the fundraising efforts of the college’s Relay for Life team. Last year, the Columbia College team was the fundraising champ at the Boone County Relay for Life.

This is an easy way for you to help the environment, the college and the American Cancer Society. So don’t throw your trash away at home. Keep a small box where you can put these recyclables and bring them in to work! As of March 21, the team had mailed out a shipment for the dairy tub and personal care & beauty brigades.

Here are items that are currently accepted:

  • Toothpaste tubes and caps
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothbrush and paste outer packaging
  • Floss containers
  • Hair care packaging (shampoo, hair gel, paste, spray, etc.)
  • Skin care packaging (lip balms, face soaps, lotion tubes, body wash, etc.)
  • Makeup packaging (lipstick, concealer, powder, mascara, eyeliner, etc.)
  • Foil-lined energy and granola bar wrappers
  • Yogurt tubs and lids
  • Sour cream tubs and lids
  • Cheese/cream cheese tubs and lids
  • Butter and margarine tubs and lids
  • Plastic ice cream tubs
  • Pudding tops and lids
  • Foil tops and seals
  • Plastic cheese wrapping (including from hard block cheese and string cheese)
  • Plastic packaging from diapers and wipes
  • Oatmeal and hot cereal packets

Want to get involved in the CC Relay for Life team? Have questions about other fundraising efforts, such as the garage sale, working basketball games, trivia nights, bake sales, penny wars and gift wrapping at the mall? Want to make a donation? Contact Stephanie Johnson or Michael Garver, team captains.