Most of the things in your room right now will eventually become garbage. That’s the simple idea that in 2001 drove college freshman Tom Szaky to launch Terracycle, a company that collects waste and converts it into new products. For example, Skittles wrappers are combined to become a kite, while Honest Tea containers become a laptop case.
His unusual concept has turned Terracycle into a $16 million company with roughly 100 employees at its Trenton, N.J., headquarters.
EL: How did it all begin?
Szaky: We started by producing liquid worm poop in used soda bottles, because my friends were using worm poop on their plants as an organic fertilizer. That was the beginning of making products out of garbage.
Waste is a commodity of nature. Everything ends as garbage. Most things in your room right now will be in a landfill at some point—everything. It’s also very valuable. We pay people to get rid of it. So we should be able to lo...(register to read more)