Cigarette butts are the worst—they dot sidewalks, clog gutters, and soil oceans. Now a New Jersey-based company has found a way to recycle these unwelcome discards, and the program has gone global.
Known as the Cigarette Waste Brigade, TerraCycle’s effort to make recycling cigarettes easier for smokers is a first-of-its-kind program according to Albe Zakes, VP of communications at the company, who told Fusion that “before TerraCycle cigarettes weren’t recyclable.”
Since kicking off in New Orleans, the Cigarette Waste Brigade can now be found in cities nationwide, as well as internationally in Australia, the U.K., France, and Brazil. To date in the United States, TerraCycle has set up over 7,000 cigarette recycling bins and more than 38 million butts having been collected. Promoted as a company that “makes the non-recyclable, recyclable,” TerraCycle was founded by Tom Szaky in the early 2000s after he dropped out of Princeton University.