Saving the Earth one Snack Pack at a Time

In honor of Earth Day yesterday, I wanted to share this great story about a local mom who is helping her Kindergarten son implement a recycling program in our area. Michelle Manthei and her son, Harrison, are spearheading a great cause to help keep our Earth cleaner!

For starters, they are implementing Terracycle recycling programs at Harrison’s school. Terracycle is a company that recycles hard-to-recycle items from consumers’ everyday lives into durable goods. They collect items that are often thrown in the trash like granola & energy bar wrappers, squeezable fruit pouches, foil-lined snack bags, toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, juice pouches, guitar strings and cosmetic containers. These goods are used to create park benches, playground equipment, new packaging and upcycled goods. Michelle and her son collect these items on their own and mail them to Terracycle to be recycled, and now his school will be participating as well!

Next, they are making Terracycle more accessible to the Green Bay area by adding collection bins to some local businesses. If you use these items and would like to help this great cause, you can look for collection containers at the following locations:
  • Westside YMCA (Howard): Any Brand Energy Bar, Granola Bar or Breakfast/Meal Bar wrappers.
  • Parkwest Pediatric Dental (Green Bay West & DePere): Any brand toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, floss containers and all associated packaging.
  • Michelle is also willing to make arrangements to personally collect goods from individuals who want to participate in the program.
    Hopefully this is just the start–more drop off-locations are in the works!
Finally, in addition to everyday recycling and Terracycle, Michelle has some reminders about other recycling programs to consider as you’re doing your spring cleaning (and year-round):
  • Electronic Drives are held many times a year at various locations. Be on the lookout for these so you can get those old computers, printers, TVs and the like to the appropriate place and they don’t end up in a landfill!
  • If you don’t want to wait for a “drive” and want to get your electronics or appliances recycled now, you have a few options. Just visit these websites to find out what items they accept, when and where to drop off, fees (if applicable) and if they offer pick-up services:
  • Heid Music on Oneida Street is hosting a free guitar restring & and recycling event on Saturday, April 28th from 10-5. Get more details here.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs being disposed of improperly is extremely harmful and can put these items in the wrong hands. The Wisconsin Department of Justice, along with local authorities, organize a program called Dose of Reality – Drug Take Back Day for the collection of prescription (including controlled substances) and over-the-counter drugs. This year’s collection day is Saturday, April 28 at multiple drive-up locations. Visit for a drop-off location list and collection times. St Mary’s hospital on 1726 Shawano Ave in Green Bay will be participating as a drive-up location from 10AM to 1PM.
  • Drop off your car seat at Target locations to be recycled and/or traded in for a 20% off coupon for your next car seat/stroller purchase. Through 5/5/18.
  • Electronic Recycling Day at the West Side YMCA on Saturday, 5/5/18 from 8AM-12PM.

Thank you, Michelle, for all of your hard work to make Terracycle more accessible to our community–and what an inspiring project to do with your son!

If you have any questions about Terracycle, or any other info in this blog, please comment below. (Michelle is also happy to help educate anyone who is interested in getting more involved with Terracycle–just comment below and I will put you in touch with her.)

Happy Earth Week!

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