Trane Technologies Stomps-Out Cigarette Litter with Help of TerraCycle Recycling Program

July 03, 2020

TerraCycle, the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams, has joined forces with Trane Technologies, a leading manufacturer of HVAC systems poised to address climate challenges through sustainability, to collect and recycle the world’s most littered item – cigarette butts.

Through this program, Trane Technologies is not only addressing the nation’s most commonly littered item but also a form of potentially toxic plastic waste. The company currently maintains 10 receptacles placed in designated smoking areas throughout their Panama City facility. All of the collected waste is shipped to TerraCycle for recycling. When processed, the paper and tobacco is separated from the filter and composted. The filter is then recycled into plastic pellets which can be used by manufacturers to make a number of products such as shipping pallets, ashtrays and park benches.

“The recycling program was started by the Trane Lynn Haven Green Team, an employee-led group at Trane with a passion for sustainability, after the idea was brought up by a member who saw the TerraCycle receptacles at the local beach and read about the impact they had in a news article,” says William Zinn, Trane Technologies representative.

As the world’s most littered item, billions of cigarette butts get tossed on shorelines, park grounds and sidewalks across the United States every year. If not addressed, cigarette waste persists for years and poses a serious environmental threat as toxic chemicals leach into soil and bodies of water become contaminated with substances hazardous to marine life.

Participating in TerraCycle’s Cigarette Recycling Program is Trane Technologies’ latest effort to grow their socially-responsible, environmental initiatives. In addition to introducing cigarette recycling, the company has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent while increasing overall energy efficiency by 23 percent. Through these efforts, Trane Technologies is on-track to achieve carbon neutrality and reduce their customers’ carbon footprint by one gigaton in accordance with their 2030 Sustainability Commitment.

“This recycling program was easy to set up and didn’t require a real change in procedure as we were able to use the preexisting receptacles we have on-site. We hope to spread our message of this program and inspire people to make sure they are properly disposing of their cigarettes in the containers and not throwing them to the ground,” says Zinn. “We are proud of what we were able to do with this program, and are so excited to be partnering with TerraCycle to make a difference!”

TerraCycle has collected hundreds of millions of cigarette butts globally. Additionally, through its various recycling programs, it has engaged over 200 million people across 21 countries to collect and recycle nearly eight billion pieces of waste that were otherwise non-recyclable.

About Trane Technologies

Trane HVAC air solutions. One of our main goals as an organization is to be a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable, and efficient environments. We know that it’s our responsibility to put the planet first. We are leading by example by changing the way we do business and setting lofty sustainable goals to accomplish by the year 2030. One of these goals is zero waste to landfill, which this recycling initiative helps us achieve. 

About TerraCycle

TerraCycle is an innovative waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. Operating nationally across 21 countries, TerraCycle partners with leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. In addition, TerraCycle works with leading consumer product companies to integrate hard to recycle waste streams, such as ocean plastic, into their products and packaging. Its new division, Loop, is the first shopping system that gives consumers a way to shop for their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. TerraCycle has won over 200 awards for sustainability and has donated over $44 million to schools and charities since its founding more than 15 years ago and was named #10 in Fortune magazine’s list of 52 companies Changing the World. To learn more about TerraCycle or get involved in its recycling programs, please visit