Mother Earth Living

Garbage Moguls: TerraCycle Turns Trash Into Treasure

Follow this small company's creative team as they rummage through the landfill looking for their next great product idea.
By Kim Wallace
April 2009 Web
Add to My MSN

TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky flies a kite made entirely from Oreo wrappers.
Photo Courtesy National Geographic/Garbage Moguls


Content Tools

Related Content

Shine Your Light Now

Take a few of these lighting suggestions with you from the 2005 Lighting for Tomorrow competition sp...

Just Ask: The Ethics of Eating Eggs and Municipal Composting

Grist magazine's Umbra Fisk answers your questions about whether or not the eggs you eat once had a ...

TerraCycle and FritoLay Transform Chip Bags Into Cool Products

Upcycling company TerraCycle is partnering with FritoLay North America to keep old chips bags out of...

Make Your Own Compost Bin

Making your own compost bin is simple. Compost bins are great for disposing kitchen scraps to make f...

Premiering tonight on National Geographic at 9 pm EST, the Earth Day special "Garbage Moguls" follows the Trenton, New Jersey-based company TerraCycle as it attempts to turn trash into treasure. TerraCycle, led by 27-year-old CEO Tom Szaky, salvages waste from landfills to make useful products such as pencils, reusable bags, clocks, coasters and other household and office items.

Tune in tonight to follow the TerraCycle team’s creative process, which includes field trips to the landfill and automobile junkyard. The team faces the challenge of constructing a kite made entirely from Oreo wrappers to present to Wal-Mart executives and designing a messenger bag made from old billboards and seat belts to present to Office Max executives.

“Garbage is a man-made idea, and we’ve created garbage because we haven’t created solutions for it,” Szaky says. “We take waste, we add design and produce mass merchandise.” 

TerraCycle employs more than 50 people in Trenton, New Jersey. Find TerraCycle products at Wal-Mart, OfficeMax, The Home Depot and Target. Register to win a TerraCycle recycled vinyl record clock. 

More about recycled products

• TerraCycle transforms chip bags into consumer products. Find out how you can get involved.

• Make lunch fashionable with recycled plastic lunch boxes, coffee cups and water bottles from Aladdin eCycle.

• Show your green stripes with eco-friendly pens from Zebra.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.