Happy Roots adds to programming with Bic recycling program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 22, 2021

SALISBURY – Local nonprofit Happy Roots has added a new recycling partnership to its programming with a company that specializes in creative use of materials.

Happy Roots Director Ashley Honbarrier said the organization was on a waiting list for months before being accepted to partner with TerraCycle on its Bic stationery recycling program. TerraCycle is a company that runs volunteer recycling platforms to collect non-recyclable goods and turn them into materials that can be used for new products such as park benches

Honbarrier said getting involved with a program like this is in line with what Happy Roots does.

“From the beginning, we wanted Happy Roots to be an environmental organization,” Honbarrier said. “It started with the Earth Day festival back in 2012. We just wanted that to be a year-round mission, then it sort of evolved into being more focused on gardening.”

TerraCycle has dozens of recycling partnerships with consumer goods companies. Bic is a major French manufacturing company most known for its ubiquitous disposable lighters and pens. The partnership focuses on recycling writing instruments and their packaging.

According to TerraCycle, nonprofit participants earn points for recycling that can be redeemed for charitable gifts or funding based on the amount of material recycled. Happy Roots will get $1 per pound of material collected. The program accepts “all brands of writing instruments, glue sticks, watercolor dispensers, paint sets and flexible packaging,” according to TerraCycle.

Honbarrier said recycling and gardening all tie together.

“You don’t think about these things that we use, consume and toss out,” Honbarrier said. “Think about how many plastic pens, pencils and markers are going into landfills you wouldn’t think of recycling. We’re thankful for TerraCycle for being able to do that.

Happy Roots is getting other people involved with collecting for the program. Three Rivers Land Trust is placing a collection receptacle at the Gateway Building and she has had interest from teachers and Crosby Scholars.

The nonprofit is creating its own drop off locations and Honbarrier is considering creating a contest connected to the program, but the news is so recent she has not had time to sort through the logistics.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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