NJ recycling company says reducing, reusing on the rise while recycling is down amid pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A New Jersey company which has been recycling for almost two decades is looking at how COVID-19 is affecting that practice, and they say it’s not all good for the environment.

Tom Szaky founded TerraCycle in Trenton in 2001, and the company recycles everything from fluorescent light bulbs to Capri Sun juice pouches. 

Szaky says there is an upside to the global shutdown caused by the pandemic.

“Maybe one positive lesson we can get from COVID is that as we’ve been slowing down our economy, the world, the planet has become better. Climate change has gone in the right direction, nitrogen levels in cities are decreased,” he said. 

He says we are all consuming less, which is good because consumption leads to many environmental problems like deforestation and the waste crisis.

But Szaky adds recycling on many fronts has stopped because products can’t be sterilized, and we are relying more heavily on disposable packaging.

Szaky urges people to continue reducing and reusing as the pandemic rolls on.