TerraCycle Program

Even if you refuse, reduce, and reuse as much as you can, chances are you still have waste to recycle. And there are so many things we can't recycle through Shawnee County Solid Waste or other recycling options in the community

We're working with TerraCycle and other programs to collect a wide variety of hard-to-recycle items and turn them into things like insulation, plastic park benches, and floor tiles. Get a glimpse into the TerraCycle process with this video.

TerraCycle accepts some items for free, but most items have to go in a "zero-waste box" that costs anywhere from about $230 to $380. Our initial round of boxes were funded with a grant from the Greater Topeka Partnership, but to purchase replacements, we charge a fee of $0.05 a cubic inch for items that go in the "paid" boxes. When you drop off your items or order recycling pickup, pack all of the paid items tighly in a box, and measure it to get the volume in cubic inches (length x width x height). Multiply that by $0.05 to get the cost of recycling the items in that box.

Full Circle Recycling Accepted Materials

Paid Items ($0.05 per cubic inch) Free Items
Kitchen Waste Kitchen Waste
  • Plastic clamshells (not accepted in Shawnee County Municipal Recycling)
  • Flexible plastic packaging
  • Snack and candy wrappers
  • Food storage containers 
  • Coffee and tea capsules
  • Aluminized coffee packaging
  • Plastic cutlery and party supplies
  • Cleaning supplies and packaging
  • Chip cans
  • Milk cartons (clean)
  • Plastic, metal, or glass cups
  • Blister packs
  • Coffee pots
  • Any non-organic waste generated in the kitchen
  • Kroger brand flexible plastic packaging (includes Simple Truth and Private Selection)
  • Solo cups (#6 plastic) 
  • Babybel brand cheese packaging
  • Squeezable baby food and snack pouches
  • Gerber brand baby food packaging
Bathroom Waste Bathroom Waste
  • Cleaning supplies and packaging
  • Razors, blades, and packaging 
  • Hair tools (curling irons, blow dryers, combs, etc.)
  • Toothbrushes and packaging 
  • Empty toothpaste and floss containers and packaging 
Clothing and Fabric
  • Clean fabric or clothing of any type
  • Shoes of any type
  • Sneakers
  • Socks
Office Supplies 
  • Pencils, pens, and markers
  • Binders
  • Paper and binder clips
  • Label backing
  • Staplers
  • Tape dispensers
  • Desk organizers
  • Correction supplies
  • Any non-electrical item used in your office


  • Items accepted for reuse or resale at Scraps KC        
See the list of accepted items here  
Home Decor
  • Interior home furnishings
  • Outdoor home furnishings (such as small lawn ornaments)
Garage & Garden
  • Pet products and packaging
  • Empty soil, stone, mulch, seed, and sand bags
  • Planters and pots
  • Solar lights
  • Filters
  • Extension cords
  • Hoses, nozzles, and sprinklers
  • Small non-electronic tools
  • Small home improvement materials
  • Small automotive parts
  • Small sporting goods
  • Non-organic, non-hazardous waste generated in your garage and outdoor areas

  Keep in mind that items must fit inside a 15" x 15"' x 37" box

And keep in mind that reducing and reusing are almost always better options than recycling!