Everyone remembers those delicious juice pouches from Caprisun.
They were fun to drink, but did you ever stop to think what happens to them once they get thrown in the garbage?
Usually they end up in a landfill, and Chelmsford is doing its part to help.
Through working with TerraCycle, a company that has found a way to recycle materials that traditionally are non-recyclable, trash from the town that was previously unrecyclable no longer needs to end up wasting away in a landfill.
Jill Eisner helped bring the program to Center Elementary School and to the community last October.
Eisner, whose daughter goes to the school, said she thought it would be a good way to teach kids about managing waste.
"They are kind of a green generation," Eisner said. "They are growing up on this; they are learning that our resources are very precious."
Since its inception at the school, 30,244 pieces of trash have been saved from landfills. Among those, 8,867 have been juice pouches, according to Megan Yarnall, spokesperson for TerraCycle.
TerraCycle has about 45,000 different brigade groups across the country and have saved an estimated 2 billions pieces of trash from ending up in landfills, said Yarnall.
Each brigade is a group that specializes in collecting one kind of trash item. At Center School there are brigades for drink pouches, chip bags, coffee bags, candy wrappers and cookie packages.
Instead of getting thrown away, these items are used to make different things. The Caprisun pouches, for example, are sewn together to make bookbags and tote bags. The company calls this upcycling.
They also recycle other materials using them to make benches, fences, recycling bins and other items available for sale.
The process is very easy, said Eisner. During lunch time in the cafeteria, she has set up different bins where children can dispose of their items after using them.
For each item sent in, TerraCycle compensates the brigades 2 cents. More valued items like laptops and cellphones are traded for higher prices.
Yarnall said although TerraCycle is not a nonprofit, the donations meant for the brigades are paid to the nonprofit charity of their choice, in this case the money goes to the parent teacher organization at Center School.
"I think its absolutely a win-win for everyone," Eisner said. "We are earning some money for the school, and kids are learning about recycling."