Get an Inside Look at the Trashiest Office in Jersey

Get an Inside Look at the Trashiest Office in Jersey

Photo by Matt Hickman

Photo by Matt Hickman

As members of the TerraCycle team, we’ve grown used to the zany atmosphere we work in every day. We barely blink at the sculptures made of wine corks or the desks made of record players. But what does our garbage wonderland look like to those on the outside?

Blogger Matt Hickman does a great job of breaking down exactly what we do here at TerraCycle with all of the waste that you send us. We collect post-consumer waste (what’s left over after you’ve used your product) through our Brigade programs, which are typically sponsored by major corporations. We collect everything from tooth brushes to shoes to wine corks. We then either recycle or upcycle these materials into cool new items. Plus, a lot of these Brigade programs come with points-based incentives, like charitable donations to the school, charity, or nonprofit of your choice!

But let’s get to the good stuff: talking about how cool our office is! Hickman visited our Trenton, N.J. office back in 2012 for the first time and loved our trashy decorations. After all, where else are you going to find a conference room surrounded by curtains of plastic soda bottles, or a warehouse that gets a fresh coat of graffiti every year? Since 2012 we’ve added a lot of cool new stuff, but Hickman’s photos definitely give you a sense of our work environment. We don’t just talk the talk; here at TerraCycle we like to get trashy every day!

Here’s the link to the original story:

Human Resources: New Episode Tonight!

New Episode Tonight!

“Human Resources: Smells Like Success”

Have you seen TerraCycle’s reality show, “Human Resources,” yet? Airing Fridays at 10pm EST on Pivot TV, our show gives the viewer a look into the most inventive upcycling company the industry has seen as we establish our efforts to 22 countries overseas.

Qualities of social media manager

One of those countries is Canada, featured in the next episode of Human Resources airing Friday, September 19th. We have landed a partnership with the popular household odor eliminator, Febreze, in order to create our first air-care brigade! To establish this cooperation, Tom and two employees take a trip to Tom’s hometown of Toronto, Canada to the TerraCycle Canada’s headquarters in order to meet with Febreze representatives.

In the short period of 48 hours, the trio must establish as many public relations regarding the Air-Care Brigade as possible, most important being with Canada’s popular newspaper, Globe and Mail. In addition, the team travels the streets of Toronto attaining as many sign ups to the brigade program as possible.

Back at the Trenton headquarters, employees attempt to give one worker a leap into the dating scene by setting him up with an online dating website. Soon enough, he lands his first match, and his coworkers give him a crash course in impressing his date.

I bet you had never thought that Febreze bottles could be useful once emptied! We at TerraCycle are thrilled when we discover ways to recycle what was previously thought of as “trash.” To send us your “trash,” click the following link and download a free UPS label:

“Human Resources: Peace, Love, and Plastic” New Tonight!

“Human Resources: Peace, Love, and Plastic” New Episode Tonight!

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 10.18.06 AM

TerraCycle’s new reality show, “Human Resources,” is giving new meaning to “trash television.”  Every episode encapsulates the daily functions of our forward-thinking company as we attempt to make recycling and “upcycling” a part of the world’s every day business operations.

In our next episode, airing tonight, Friday, September 12th at 10pm EST on Pivot, viewers will get a feeling for our company culture—where small dogs roam free, employees partake in sporadic yoga sessions, and the spontaneous shot from a Nerf gun turns the office floors into a foam-pelleted battleground.  This free-spirited nature does not fly by all employees, as one disgruntled employee decides to take action.

Meanwhile, two employees each sell the same million pounds of recycled plastic. The team scrambles to find the additional materials needed to fill the extra order by testing the components of recycled products in the in-house laboratory.

Tonight’s episode also highlights TerraCycle’s partnership with Capri Sun and the Drink Pouch Brigade program.  In a brief meeting, Tom and the Capri Sun representatives agree to double the monetary reward from one cent per pouch to two cents, to be donated to the non-profit organization or school of the collector’s choice.  If you want to be a part of the brigade, download the free recycling label available at this link:

Cleaning up the Big Easy with the Cigarette Brigade

           New Orleans Becomes First U.S. City to Recycle Cigarette Butts

TerraCycle and New Orleans team up to recycle the city's cigarette butts

Photo: waferboard/Flickr

Here at TerraCycle we can find a way of recycling just about anything. Think of something that you couldn’t imagine would ever become recyclable. Do cigarette butts come to mind? Well, TerraCycle has teamed up with the city of New Orleans to make this dream into a reality. Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network covers the beginning of the Cigarette Brigade in the Louisiana city, which has the distinction of becoming the first U.S. city to work with TerraCycle in order to recycle their cigarette waste (in 2012 Vancouver became the first city in the world to launch the program).

Eventually, New Orleans plans to install about 50 recycling receptacles around the city center, each labeled “Recycle Your Butts Here”. The New Orleans Downtown Development District will collect the cellulose acetate stubs and ship them to TerraCycle at regular intervals, and the city will receive $4 for every pound sent in. Once the butts reach TerraCycle, the filters will be shredded, rid of biotoxins, and melted into plastic pellets. Non-plastic waste like tobacco and paper will be composted.

Not crazy about the idea of buying something made from old cigarette butts? Don’t worry, those pellets won’t find their way into any consumer products. Instead, they’ll be used in products used for industrial purposes like pallets and plastic lumber.

TerraCycle isn’t stopping at just two cities, though. We are currently in talks with officials from all over the world, from Atlantic City to Sydney to Tokyo, to try and make the Cigarette Brigade a global phenomenon.

Check out the full story here!

Introducing GREENOVATION with Dish Magazine

Introducing Greenovation: Featuring TerraCycle with Dish Magazine

We at TerraCycle are pleased to announce a partnership with Dish Magazine, an online magazine for the enjoyment of women of all ages!  We are aligning our efforts to make the world a gentler, cleaner, and more livable place through Dish Magazine’s column Greenovation: Featuring TerraCycle.

September Issue of Dish Magazine

September Issue of Dish Magazine

We are delighted at the opportunity to further our mission to eliminate the idea of waste.  You, the readers of our TerraCycle blog posts and Dish Magazine articles, are the next great social entrepreneurs, and it thrills us to be able to spread the idea that we are all stewards of sustainability, and what we use to consider “trash” can now be reused.  We hope that Greenovation can be an outlet for new green ideas readers of Dish Magazine will enjoy.  The column will encompass new easy green initiatives to use in your daily life, Do-It-Yourself upcycling projects you can create in your own home, and insights from up-and-comers in the world of sustainability and eco-issues.

We hope to empower you, as the next eco-activists and conscious consumers, into making adjustments to your own attitudes and behaviors that can contribute to returning this world to its purer state, and get you thinking, “what is waste, anyway?” because what we use to think of as “waste” is changing rapidly.


Please take a moment to read what Tom Szaky has to say about his thoughts on “garbage” in the first installment of Greenovation: Featuring TerraCycle.

New Show “Human Resources” Upcycles Reality-TV

New Show “Human Resources” Upcycles Reality-TV

TerraCycle Inc. is not exactly what corporate America would call a normal, everyday workplace environment. Our unique office space of this green scene is choc full of upcycled and graffiti-ed furniture, artwork, and even work pods that go hand and hand with our incredibly diverse, quirky, and occasionally nutty group of 120 employees that call this place home. But just because the crew over here at TerraCycle knows how to have a good time around the office, it never stops us from doing what we care about most–eliminating the idea of waste.

We decided it would be neat to give you a sneak peak at what really goes on in this brilliantly creative, passionate, and wacky workspace. Every Friday night at 10pm ET/PT on Pivot, TerraCycle gets another chance to show America who we really are on our new television show “Human Resources.” So grab your soy latte, green drink, or organic kale chips and gather ‘round the TV; we guarantee you a good laugh and some real insight into the green world. Additionally here are some great videos below that you can craft while you watch:

SRCI Sustainability Workgroup

TerraCycle is pleased to announced that SRCI Sustainability Workgroup has collected  67,119 chip bags as part of the Terracycle/Chip Bag Brigade Program that began in January of 2014.

Harvest House

This brigade has not only been beneficial with respect to the environment, but also financially. SRCI Sustainability Workgroup chose to help The Harvest House Missions, located in Ontario, Oregon.

This organization helps local community members in need with various programs, one of which is the “Season Project” that serves the youth (ages 11-17) who are homeless or experiencing unstable living conditions at home. Another program that is used daily is the “Hospitality House Day Shelter” which is available to those that need showers, food, internet access and resource referrals.  One of the main programs utilized is the “The New Hope Kitchen” which is a community meal site for those in need.

The funds raised from the Chip Bag Brigade help the Harvest House Mission to fund these types of programs.

In June, Terracycle issued a check to the Harvest House in the amount of $314.36.


“How It’s Made” TerraCycle Edition

“How It’s Made” TerraCycle Edition

how its made

To quickly sum up TerraCycle’s mission, TerraCycle wants to eliminate the concept of waste. To further that mission, we recycle and upcycle typically unrecyclable waste. To recycle the large amount of plastic packaging waste we collect, we need to turn it into plastic pellets that can be used in manufacturing. Environmentally speaking, this process is a huge improvement over using virgin plastic. “This material is better for the environment than virgin plastic because post-consumer waste now has a second chance, or new life. Not only that, but we also save oil and other materials that would be used to produce virgin plastic,” said Stephen Katz, material sourcing manager at TerraCycle.

I saw some small plastic pellets that were made from snack bags and wondered how chip bags could be turned into plastic pellets, and then how those pellets get turned into recycling bins and other products. Looking online, I saw words like polypropylene, processes that involved densifying machines and injection molding, and a lot more. The explanation was right in front of me, yet I still didn’t understand. So, I went back to my fellow TerraCyclers to try to understand the process.

TerraCycle’s 32 gallon bins are made from recycled polypropylene that was once chip bags and other kinds of plastic materials. Polypropylene is a versatile polymer, which can be used as plastic or fiber. A polymer is a material with a molecular structure consisting of large numbers of similar units bonded together. If you struggled in chemistry like I did, polymers include synthetic materials such as indoor-outdoor carpeting, mini golf course grass, car dashboards, and much more.

Back to the making of the bins: First, the snack bags are shredded and sent to an extruder which heats the material enough to melt it, then forces it out of a small opening. From there, the plastic is cut into pellets, which then cool off and keep their shape. The pellets are shipped to a manufacturer to be melted down again and put through an injection molding process to shape them into a recycling bin. It’s essentially the same concept as putting sand into a mold at the beach, but with high temperatures that fuse the pellets together. The material cools off again and a TerraCycle recycling bin is born, ready to collect recyclables that can be turned into even more new products!

Tips for Traveling Abroad the Eco-Friendly Way

Tips for Traveling Abroad the Eco-Friendly Way

Written by: Jennifer Rota

 Traveling Abroad

After studying abroad for a semester, I’ve learned how to travel more efficiently. Packing everything I needed for a five-day trip to Italy in one carry-on backpack forced me to be a much smarter traveler. Walking to the grocery store limited the number of things I could carry, which helped me to cut out the excess. Thankfully, overseas, traveling smartly and living environmentally-friendly go hand-in-hand. Not only can you travel more efficiently, but you can also positively impact the environment and have the opportunity to explore the local culture more fully. Whether you’re a study-abroad student or traveling for business or leisure, here are a few tips to help you stay green!

  1. Use a reusable water bottle. Over 75% of plastic water bottles in the United States end up in landfills and these bottles will not decompose for thousands of years. By using a reusable water bottle, you can limit your impact on the environment, as well as save money. Fill up your bottle as soon as you come across a water fountain and subsequently avoid those overpriced plastic water bottles.
  2. Save your travel-sized toiletry containers. Airports only allow a certain amount of liquid through security, so cut back on the waste and expenses by refilling travel-sized bottles. Furthermore, reusing the same bottles ensures that you’ll always be under the liquid limit.
  3. One thing I always carried with me around London was a notepad. From jotting down observations to keeping track of tasks at my job, having a notepad quickly became essential. TerraCycle offers unique note pads, like the Clif Bar Mini Note Pad, that are made from upcycled packaging. Not only would this notepad come in handy, but it also could be a great conversation starter with locals. Even the smallest observations, like how your favorite products aren’t available in other countries, can spark up the most interesting conversations.
  4. Take advantage of public transportation, especially if the place in which you’re traveling is known for it. Instead of spending money on expensive cabs, rely on subway and bus systems, as well as walking. Not only does this help you cut back on your carbon footprint, but it also provides the perfect landscape for interacting with locals.
  5. Instead of buying an “I love [Insert City Here]” keychain at the local tourist trap, incorporate things you already have into a unique abroad present for your loved ones at home. Wrappers from local snacks and candy bars can add a memorable twist to a DIY project.

Reminder: Ask Me Anything With Tom Is Today!

Webinar AMA with Tom

This is just a friendly reminder that TODAY at 11:00 AM EST, TerraCycle is hosting an “Ask Me Anything” with Tom Szaky! That’s right folks, ANYTHING. No question is off limits. Ask truly anything and everything!

It is not too late to register at or simply #TomSzkayChat on any social media platform to as your questions!