Rubicon celebrates success of Trick or Trash diversion efforts

Through the program, Rubicon estimates 10 million Halloween candy wrappers will be diverted from landfill.

November 29, 2021

Rubicon, Lexington, Kentucky, announced that its annual Trickor Trash campaign was a success for the third consecutive year, reaching more schools, small businesses and community organizations than ever across all 50 U.S. states.

Designed to help reduce the waste that accumulates every year around Halloween, Rubicon’s Trick or Trash campaign provides safe and easy-to-assemble recycling boxes to schools, universities, small businesses, community organizations and individuals for discarding candy wrappers.

It is estimated that each year, 600 million pounds of candy are consumed in the United States during the Halloween season, and research from the National Retail Federation shows that in 2020 alone, $2.4 billion dollars was spent on candy during the holiday. The film plastic materials used for candy packaging are notoriously difficult to recycle, with the vast majority ending up in landfills, as well as America’s waterways and oceans. To address this challenge, Rubicon enlisted the help of students, teachers, and small businesses around the country to collect candy wrappers and inspire communities to recycle.

Rubicon’s says its Trick or Trash 2021 campaign reached significantly more individuals this year, with almost 2,000 collection boxes being sent to more than 1,250 schools, small businesses and community organizations. This substantial increase in boxes—up from 730 in 2020 and 450 in 2019—increases the potential for the number of candy wrappers saved. A new enhancement to this year’s program is advanced reporting ensuring that all participants receive a certificate of recycling confirming how much would-be waste they diverted. Early reporting indicates that once all of this year’s boxes have been returned for processing, participants will have diverted an estimated 10 million candy wrappers from landfills.

Rubicon’s partners on the project include Cox CommunicationsThe Arby’s Foundation and The National Wildlife Federation. This year’s campaign also welcomed g2 revolution as Trick or Trash’s recycling partner. According to the company, g2 develops sustainable “Second Life” solutions to divert waste from landfills through reuse, recycling or recovery of usable ingredients to make new products or to generate energy.

The educational component of the campaign, co-created by Rubicon and the National Wildlife Federation, focuses on the role of recycling within the circular economy, and was expanded in 2021 to include K-12 lesson plans and other content from prior years, a reading list for university and college students, and a useful factsheet for business participants. The National Wildlife Federation also introduced campus sustainability teams to the Trick or Trash program as part of its Campus Race to Zero Waste initiative, a nationwide recycling competition which Rubicon also supports.

“We are thrilled by the level of enthusiasm that Trick or Trash has once again generated from students, teachers, small-business owners and local communities across the United States,” Nate Morris, founder and CEO of Rubicon, says. “Now in its third year, Trick or Trash embodies Rubicon’s mission to end waste in its purest form. From the thousands of pounds of candy wrappers that are diverted from landfills, to the campaign’s core educational component that is being taught in schools and universities across the country, Trick or Trash has proven itself to be a central part of the American conversation where it comes to teaching future generations about the importance of sustainability.”

“This is my school’s third year participating in Trick or Trash,” Lori Rubio, a K-6 teaching assistant at Elmcrest Elementary School in Liverpool, New York, says. “Students love to see the box filling up. Just when they think it is full, we push the wrappers down and can add more. Elmcrest students are very knowledgeable about recycling and its importance because we pride ourselves on being one of the best schools in our district when it comes to recycling.”

Rubicon noted that for any schools, small businesses, community centers or other organizations that are interested in diverting hard-to-recycle materials away from landfills, the RUBICONMarketplace powered by g2 revolution is now live. The marketplace makes recycling items such as aerosol cans, used batteries, plastic bags, and personal protective equipment (PPE) easier for interested parties, the company says.