Starbucks and Stonyfield are among the growing number of companies in the United States that are fronting some of the costs of their recycling efforts. They now realize there is potential treasure in their trash, reports Leon Kaye at Triplepundit, as raw materials become more expensive due to soaring energy costs and diminishing resources. Stonyfield, a dairy products company, has long partnered with Preserve, a recycling company, to churn yogurt cups and #5 plastic containers into items like toothbrushes, for example. Yogurt cups dropped off at Whole Foods can end up as toothbrushes that shoppers can buy at Trader Joe’s, or become “upcycled” through TerraCycle’s Yogurt Brigade recycling program, which raises funds for schools. Starbucks is also experimenting with a bevy of recycling pilot programs. Chicago cups are processed into paper napkins for future Starbucks customers, for example. Growing consumer interest, increasing pollution and the cost of procuring virgin materials for disposables will nudge more companies to carry out more responsible programs for the waste their products generate. Indeed, such programs already exist throughout Europe and much of Asia, Latin America and Canada.