Since January 2020, due to the efforts of the Grotto candle recycling program, vendor Root Candles has safely removed wax residue from each spent Grotto candle glass container and refilled it with new wax six times before the candles are retired. In total, more than 250,000 Grotto candles have been kept out of the landfill, meaning almost two years’ worth of Grotto candles were reused and kept out of the landfill. (Read this Notre Dame Magazine article about how the project got off the ground.)
The cardboard boxes used to transport the candles to and from campus are also used six times before being retired to a recycling facility. Then new boxes will earn the privilege of carrying precious cargo back to the Grotto, where the candles will continue to provide hope and comfort to all who visit there. As this project moves forward, there are plans to add reusable cup holder trays and pallet wraps to the transporting process.