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TerraCycle Celebrates Eco-normous Milestone

Updated on November 19, 2012

Remember TerraCycle?

I went nuts about TerraCycle after learning about them for the first time on Garbage Moguls. After a little research, I decided they were worth writing about. To initiate my series of Extraordinary Business Savvy Folks, I began with Tom Szaky and his crew.

To recap, this Princeton guy was making worm poo. He needed something to contain all those worm poo. He collected soda bottles. Worm poo turned into insta-gold. He went into garage business with his friend selling worm poo. After that, they evolved into upcycling and recycling garbage into sellable goods. Sounds awesome, right?

Try telling that to someone with a straight face! Now, he started off so small and so simple. He wanted TerraCycle to be the Walmart of garbage. Today, generating millions of dollars in revenue, I believe he succeeded.

Kraft Foods, Capri Sun, and Schools Rock the World with Eco-Love!

Following the hub came the e-mail from TerraCycle's PR department. A cute and bubbly, but professional, publicist wrote to me about the press release of their upcoming milestone celebrating the $1 million mark for schools that participated in Drink Pouch Brigade Sponsorship. Her co-worker coined the term eco-normous which is my new favorite word. It really is eco-normous!

Schools and nonprofits all over the nation participating in the program only has to save items from the landfill. This requirement is simple and monumental all at the same time! They were dedicated to the task of collecting and recycling for the TerraCycle program. This, in turn, earned them $1 million.

Emily Bradford, of the PR department, said, "We are quite excited about this and the main thing we plan to do is give a big THANK YOU to the top 100 schools that have collected the most for the Drink Pouch Brigade. We will be sending the schools a special certificate of recognition and a unique and specially made frame, made from shredded and compressed juice pouches, that will hold the certificate."

TerraCycle Recognizes Top 100 Brigades

Okay, first of all, what are brigades exactly? How does it all work?

Brigades are formed by schools, communities, and non-profit organizations. They are enlisted by TerraCycle to collect a large amount of trash from their community and schools and send it out. For every garbage they send, they get paid. So, this way, not only the planet can be cleaner, but schools that are strapped for cash can raise money. Not only are they raising money, they are helping TerraCycle to continue to make and sell fabulous products that are greener than anything else on the market. Because TerraCycle teamed up with giants like Kraft Foods and Capri Sun, those giants also benefit from this. This approach helps everyone win every way.

In this program in particular, those 100 Brigades have collected used drink pouches that are Capri Sun and Honest Kids brands. It turns out that they have really embraced this program and churned out 50 million drink pouches back to TerraCycle. Instead of just throwing away the pouches the students drink out of, they recycle it. This shows environmental AND community concerns.

It's no wonder TerraCycle is so thrilled. Not only have communities and schools come together, they get a reward out of it from TerraCycle! Going green with the big giants like Kraft Foods and Capri Sun is a huge undertaking. Having that help and merging of communities is absolutely gold to TerraCycle. So, to honor those fantastic Brigades who come from 42% of schools in the U.S., TerraCycle will recognize those 100 schools that have sent in the best amount of pouches and earned the most for their programs.

Where Does the Trash Go?

After TerraCycle receives the garbage from the Brigades, they upcycle it into really fabulous products all over the board. It can go from pencil cases to fences!

They go through a huge process to get it done.

  1. They team up with their sponsors like Kraft Foods,
  2. brainstorm ideas of what to make out of garbage,
  3. collect garbage from all over the country,
  4. then the garbage is put through process of cleaning, sifting, processing, and being put together as marketable products,
  5. and finally they send it back out to retailers to sell or put up on their website.

You can find these products in select retailers across the country, as well as online at They're not super hard to find, I promise.

Fun Fact from TerraCycle Emily: $1 Million = 50 Million juice pouches = enough waste to cover the Grand Canyon 9 times = enough waste to cover 2,000 football fields = as heavy as 20 full school buses and (of course) = over 45,000 schools and non-profits financially assisted!

Fabulous trash - er, bags!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Hey! We Wanna Be In a Brigade!

Step right on up! You can form or participate in a Brigade if you are:

  • Part of a non-profit organization.
  • Part of a school.
  • A believer in helping the landfill reduce in size.

Help millions of people, and TerraCycle, to continue to help the world to go green.


I'm not being sponsored by TerraCycle to write this article. I do have a huge eco-crush on the entire TerraCycle. However, I was sent information by the public relations department to help write this article. Please go to their site for more information.


Tom Szaky
Tom Szaky


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    • Sunny Robinson profile image

      Sunny Robinson 7 years ago from Tennessee

      @Christoph, that's exactly it! While it's not a new concept -- recycling garbage for profit -- TerraCycle is the first company to actually scale it and be completely successful at the rate they're at. It's really fun to watch.

      @Sogno, :D

      @Emily B, joined it. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

    • profile image

      Emily B. 7 years ago

      Hey Sunny,

      Love the post! Definitely one of my favorite articles ever written about TerraCycle! Thanks for calling me bubbly (yet professional :) it made me feel special :)

      Keep in touch! and please feel free to join our bloggers club so we can work together on giveaways, reviews, and such!

      Have a Great Day!!

    • SognoPiccolo profile image

      SognoPiccolo 7 years ago from Wilmington, Ohio


    • SognoPiccolo profile image

      SognoPiccolo 7 years ago from Wilmington, Ohio

      Anytime Sunny... I was excited about this one and I am glad you included me. =)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi Sunny! I love the show Garbage Moguls, and have since I first accidentally stumbled on it. The things they do are so clever for one thing, but I like to see things that have a positive environmental impact succeed and turn a profit. When there's profit in it, many more will follow!

    • Sunny Robinson profile image

      Sunny Robinson 7 years ago from Tennessee

      @Sogno, I want to thank you for sending me the videos and some extra information to add to my hub. It gave this hub a lot more kick! Thanks.

    • SognoPiccolo profile image

      SognoPiccolo 7 years ago from Wilmington, Ohio

      You are super awesome. This came out better then I expected. You still rock my sox.


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