New York weed company setting unexpected standard

new york weed recycling

The cannabis industry has a lot of problems, and landfill-bound trash is a common one in every state. Cultivation and processing aside, the sheer amount of packaging and product waste is considerable on the consumer end. Multi-state operator Curaleaf is taking steps against this landfill feeding cycle in partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle.

“It’s been a top priority for us at Curaleaf to help build the market in a way that is responsible and keeps the entire cannabis ecosystem in mind,” said Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin in a press release.

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Glass, cardboard, and flexible plastic waste from products in-house brands B NOBLE, Select, Find, Grassroots, and JAMS are eligible. The initiative understands that curbside trash service in New York doesn’t recycle flexible plastics or glass.

Consumers bring the trash into participating Curaleaf stores to enter the TerraCycle recycling stream. The medical stores at Carle Place, Forest Hills, and Plattsburgh are participating, along with the adult use and medical shop in Hudson Valley. Contributed waste will be washed and turned into downstream products like outdoor furniture.

“Our new recycling initiative with TerraCycle is an exciting step in the right direction for New Yorkers, and we look forward to finding opportunities to expand it across additional states when possible,” Darin said.

TerraCycle recycling company

TerraCycle isn’t new to the cannabis space. The company partnered with Canadian cannabis brand Tweed and celebrated one million pieces of weed packaging recycled only six months later.

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The for-profit recycling firm processes the trash into pellets that can be turned into patio furniture or plastic building materials. The company sells a few products made from ocean plastic to consumers, but many are made by other brands. TerraCycle has had its controversies for overcharging customers for plastic waste shipping. However, in this case, the cost is on Curaleaf, not the consumer, so they can assess that risk.

Many cannabis companies invest in compostable or recyclable packaging. Even then, there are issues with what each state and locality will accept. The TerraCycle Curaleaf partnership isn’t perfect, but it solidifies hope for change.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.