The recycling hubs at Sam’s Club in Fayetteville and Walmart on Elm Springs Road in Springdale are now accepting pet food packaging, which is not recyclable through local curbside programs.
Pet food packaging is an often overlooked waste stream because it usually consists of multiple materials, like aluminum and plastic, which excludes it from curbside recycling, said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle.
Szaky said the Pet Sustainability Coalition estimates that about 300 million pounds of pet food and treat bags are generated in the U.S. every year, and over 99% of those bags are not recycled.
The issue was recently compounded when pet adoptions jumped in the wake of the pandemic, which caused an increased demand for pet food and resulted in an even larger amount of pet food packaging waste.
Shoppers are invited to bring all brands of pet food packaging to the participating retail locations in Fayetteville and Springdale, as well as the Walmart Supercenter in Broken Arrow, Okla.
In addition to pet food packaging, the hubs also accept the following items:
- Skincare and beauty products
- Soft plastic food packaging
- Oral care products
- Food and drink pouches
- Home and garden supplies packaging
- Coffee capsules and water filters
- Plastic bottles
- Worn clothing
- Pet food packaging
- Plastic bags and shipping materials
- Plastic toys
- Ink cartridges and office supplies
When the bins are full, the items are transported to regional facilities where they’re recycled into raw materials that can be used to make new products, like playgrounds and park benches, according to TerraCycle.