Trick-or-treating is over and the post-Halloween litter season has arrived.
For months, parents will be finding candy wrappers shoved under their kids’ beds, crushed in the bottoms of backpacks and lying in the washing machine after loads of laundry.
And with the National Retail Federation projecting that consumers spent $3 billion on candy this Halloween season, that’s a whole lot of garbage.
But one Lexington-based company is working to keep thousands of pounds of those little bits of paper and plastic out of trash cans.
For the third year, Rubicon is offering its Trick or Trash program.
The company provides collection boxes to schools and small businesses, where people can place their discarded candy wrappers. After the boxes are full, participants use a prepaid mailing label to ship the boxes back for processing. Recycling company g2 revolution handles that side of the operation.
Rubicon has about 2,000 registrants across the country this year, and the company estimates that the campaign will keep more than 13,000 pounds of candy wrappers out of landfills and waterways.
Last year, 730 schools and small businesses in all 50 states participated, diverting 7,000 pounds of waste, Rubicon said in a news release.
The free collection boxes, which also get recycled at the end of the program, have already been distributed to schools and businesses that requested them for this year, according to the company’s website. Rubicon says several Lexington-area organizations are participating, though there is no central collection point for the general public. Each box holds about 10 pounds of wrappers.
Rubicon describes itself as “a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide.” The Arby’s Foundation, National Wildlife Federation and Cox Communications have teamed with the company as charitable, education and communications partners.
“Ultimately, we know that recycling a box of candy wrappers is not going to solve the country’s recycling challenges.,” the company says in a FAQ page on its website. “But the box is going to make an impact on every person who uses it. And that person will think twice before throwing a recyclable in the trash bin for the next week, month and hopefully for the rest of their lives.”