TerraCycle leads by example with new program

New national recycling program promises solutions to pesky e-cigarette and ‘vape’ related litter


TerraCycle, the international recycling leader known for recycling the unrecyclable, has announced the launch of a free national recycling program to address vaporizer-related e-cigarette waste.

Having pioneered a ground-breaking recycling solution for cigarette waste over a decade ago, TerraCycle has now turned its attention to the growing popularity of vaporizers and the risks associated e-cigarette and ‘vape’ waste pose to the environment as litter.

With the launch of TerraCycle’s Smoke-Free Recycling Program, consumers are invited to send in HEETS Sticks, along with their flexible packaging, VEEV devices and all brands of vaporizer cartridges and pods to be recycled for free.

Participation in the program is easy. Consumers are simply urged to sign up on TerraCycle’s Smoke-Free Recycling Program webpage and mail in any e-cigarette or ‘vape’ waste using a prepaid shipping label. Additionally, consumers will be able to drop off products in receptacles placed in select retail locations later this year. Once collected, the waste will be repurposed to make various products from the newly recycled material.

Vape waste is any waste associated with vaporizers, including disposable vapes, vape pods or cartridges, e-liquid or ‘juice’ containers, packaging and vape batteries. Vape waste encompasses three types of waste, plastic waste, hazardous waste, and electronic or ‘techno’ waste, making vapes especially bad for the environment.

Although the plastic waste associated with vapes is rather obvious, the toxic and or hazardous waste associated is a lesser-known factor. Vapes are difficult to dispose of responsibly because of the heavy metals used in vape bodies, the nicotine in e-juice, lithium-ion batteries and various heating elements used to vaporize the e-liquid or ‘juice’.

Because the recycling process for vaporizer cartridges and pods is still unknown given their complex material composition and the presence of residual nicotine, TerraCycle has committed to collecting the waste in order to conduct research and development trials in an effort to develop an industry-first recycling solution.

“Through this innovative, first of its kind program, HEETS Sticks, VEEV devices and all brands of vaporizer cartridges and pods and their associated packaging are now nationally recyclable through the Smoke-Free Recycling Program,” said TerraCycle CEO and founder Tom Szaky.

“By taking on the growing issue of non-combustible cigarettes and introducing a full-scale R&D trial for vaporizer cartridges and pods, we are showing we are committed to doing something about this growing waste stream and leading by example,” despite the barriers.

While cigarette-related waste is still the most common form of litter in Canada, disposable vapes and cartridges are a growing category. The launch of this new recycling program is a proactive solution to protect the environment against any plastic, hazardous, and electronic waste present in the devices.

The Smoke-Free Recycling Program is open to any interested individuals 19 years or older, office, or community organization. For more information on TerraCycle’s recycling programs, visit www.TerraCycle.ca.