Bonus: It's totally free!
rubbermaid food containers

We can't be the only ones who have an entire cabinet full of storage containers that we hope will someday find their fitting lid again, right? It's like that stack of socks that somehow lost their partners. Lids and bowls seem to have a magical way of separating, be it in a different drawer, left at a potluck dinner or used as a paint brush holder for those touch-ups last year.

So we were delighted to hear that Rubbermaid and TerraCycle (a global recycling brand) just launched a partnership to help make the most of those random, extra or past-their-prime plastic and glass food storage containers.

As an added bonus, the Rubbermaid Food Storage Recycling Program is not just limited to Rubbermaid containers. To take part, do some summer cleaning to pick out which containers you're ready to part with, hop on the TerraCycle website and score a prepaid shipping label to cover all your costs to mail in your containers. A peek at the FAQs for the program ensures you don't even have to get them spotless before sending, either: "You do not need to thoroughly clean the containers before sending...However, please remove as much food residue as possible before shipping. UPS will not accept dripping packages, so make sure your items are dry prior to shipping," TerraCycle explains.

Once collected, the containers are cleaned and melted into plastic or glass that can be remolded to make new recycled products. This recycling is more important than you might imagine, as the U.S. uses more than 14 million tons of plastic each year, and 10 million of those end up in landfills.

The goal of the program, explained by TerraCycle Founder and CEO Tom Szaky in a press release, is, "offering consumers a unique opportunity to divert waste from landfills and responsibly dispose of food storage containers that may initially seem unrecyclable,"

While you're cleaning house and on a zero-waste kick, you might want to consider taking part in one of TerraCycle's other recycling programs that give new life to everything from contact lens packaging to old cell phones to disposable plastic cups.