Posts with term TerraCycle X

How I Did It: Grow Out, Not Up

Tom Szaky started TerraCycle in 2002 with high ideals and a great idea. As a sophomore at Princeton, he devised a system that took food waste from the university’s cafeterias and fed it to red worms. These worms produce “castings” (aka poop) that make highly potent plant food. He packed his product in repurposed soda bottles equipped with spray tops to meet the young company’s mission: “eliminating the idea of waste.”
By all measures, TerraCycle was a great success. Just three years after launch, the company was selling to Walmart and Home Depot across the U.S. and Canada with revenues of $1 million. But Szaky saw a problem: There was an upper limit to the organic fertilizer market. Sooner or later, his niche product would be bumping up against that ceiling.
There are two kinds of scalability: vertical, in which you increase the input and output from the same process, and horizontal, in which you replicate a business model in multiple ways. All things being equal, horizontal scalability represents the biggest opportunity with the smallest investment. TerraCycle’s early business model relied on vertical scalability for growth. For one thing, it needed a steady source of packaging. So the company launched a “Bottle Brigade” that challenged consumers to collect the soda bottles for recognition and rewards. This modest beginning would become the model for TerraCycle’s global growth.
Soon enough, TerraCycle began recruiting corporate and government sponsors for these initiatives and expanding into different types of packaging considered “non-recyclable,” otherwise destined for landfills. In 2007, it launched a partnership with Honest Tea to collect and recycle drink pouches. Partnerships with Stonyfield Farm and Clif Bar for yogurt cups and energy bar wrappers, respectively, soon followed.

“Every material is recyclable,” Szaky explains. “It’s just a matter of economics. If it costs more to recycle than it does to use virgin materials, companies will choose the latter.”

By contrast, TerraCycle had discovered a financial equation that made recycling traditionally non-recyclable materials not only economically viable, but actually profitable for is customers:
  1. Develop relationships with consumer packaged goods (CPG) makers, municipalities and retailers to create a recycling stream specifically for a specific product or package that would otherwise be non recyclable — even cigarettes and disposable diapers.
  2. Leverage these relationships to create a process at scale to reduce the cost of recycling
  3. Provide its partners with valuable PR and marketing opportunities that had a measurable impact on their brands
  4. Later, rinse (literally!) and repeat.
As you can see, TerraCycle’s vertical growth model is now horizontal: New partnerships. New materials and products. New geographies. New revenue opportunities. Brands that now include Procter & Gamble, Right Guard, L’Oreal, and Unilever can boast turning their packaging into playground equipment, tote bags, truck parts, park benches, and more in 20 countries around the world while TerraCycle generates an estimated $92 million in revenue. TerraCycle is unique in many ways, but it’s also a textbook example of a smart business. A smart business can start out as small as you please, without requiring huge outside investments. It grows the old fashioned way - organically, by consistently reinvesting profits.. It’s also rarely glamorous or exciting. That describes TerraCycle’s original business to a T. Is there anything less glamorous or exciting than a bin full of worms consuming garbage and pooping out fertilizer? To be really smart, however, a business should provide a service to larger companies that help these organizations solve three problems: Payroll costs. Every new hire at a large company means higher costs and reduced profits. If they can hire your business to do what a full time employee can do, but for less, you’ve got the job. And P.S., you can almost always do the job for less, since it’s your specialty and you don’t have their overhead. Technology. Similarly, new technology is a big investment that comes with big headaches for large organizations. They don’t like to risk money on anything that’s not tried and true, which is to say, already out of date. By taking on this risk for them, you gain an instant advantage. You know how to squeeze the most value possible out of your technology, and you make every investment count. Cash flow. It’s sad but true that small companies often end up bankrolling the operations of big companies. How? Just look at any typical invoice, with 30 or 45-day terms. You’re essentially a banker loaning your customer money. Big companies love that. When TerraCycle pivoted to its sponsored recycling model, it became very smart. It solved a big problem for its customers that these giant brands couldn’t do for themselves. It transformed packaging from a cost center to a profit-driver. TerraCycle could take this on more economically, efficiently and effectively than Colgate or Tide because its workforce and technology were designed to do exactly that. Despite — or perhaps because of — its success, TerraCycle remains committed to its original mission of “eliminating the idea of waste,” and Tom Szasky is still coming up with new ways to fulfill it. A couple of years ago, TerraCycle launched Loop, a division that helps corporate customers develop fully reusable packaging along with a circular process that parallels its recycling stream. Loop is TerraCycle’s Moonshot — a paradigm-shifting leap of faith fueled by the parent company’s money making operations. That’s a story for another time, but let me leave you with these questions: Is your company smart enough to become a moneymaker? Can that moneymaker then propel your moonshot? Food for thought.
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Keeping up the momentum on reducing waste

TerraCycle specialises in providing solutions for hard-to-recycle products, working with a range of partners globally to eliminate the idea of waste. In Scotland alone, the organisation has 355 public drop-off sites across its programmes. Here, Julien Tremblin, general manager of TerraCycle Europe, tells Packaging Scotland about the organisation’s history, greatest achievements to date, and long-term aspirations.

Things You didn’t Know You Could Recycle

Sure you recycle your glass, plastic and cardboard, and that’s great — but those brimming landfills say you can do a lot more! We’re thinking outside the blue bin and looking at some surprising things you can recycle – and exactly how to do it. Starting with – Taco Bell sauce packets Think twice before you toss that sauce – Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle Waste Management, says those little packets can be collected and recycled at many Taco Bell restaurants – and recycled into a surprising array of products including plastic benches. Alternatively, check TerraCycle.com — they’ll send you a shipping label so you can recycle the packets from anywhere in the country. Cigarette waste Cigarette residue is the blight of beaches, streets and sidewalks alike – little bits of trash that add up to a big, nasty eyesore. But now there’s a way to give what could be litter a new life, as TerraCycle will compost and recycle the paper, filters and ash. Shaving razors Here’s a way to shave down the volume of hygiene products rotting in our landfills – there are many dropoff points for both the handles and head of razors, including many gyms. Or, check the TerraCycle website and they’ll help you recycle from home. Finally – foil coffee bags More and more coffee companies have modified their product design to reduce material waste, and that means using plastic film bags. Best of all TerraCycle can transform them into an eye opening variety of raw plastic materials. Waking up to the surprising ways we can recycle. https://youtu.be/IcnibTnefwY

Gravenhurst optometrist joins contact lens recycling program

Program allows people to bring all brands of disposable contact lenses and their blister pack packaging to participating eye doctor locations to be recycled
NEWS RELEASE TERRACYCLE CANADA **************************** GRAVENHURST — Eye doctors located in cities throughout Ontario are helping the planet and the local community by reducing waste and keeping otherwise non-recyclable disposable contact lenses and their packaging out of the landfill. Through the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program, consumers are invited to bring all brands of disposable contact lenses and their blister pack packaging to participating eye doctor locations to be recycled. “Contact lenses are one of the forgotten waste streams that are often overlooked due to their size and how commonplace they are in today’s society,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Programs like the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program allows eye doctors to work within their community and take an active role in preserving the environment, beyond what their local municipal recycling programs are able to provide. "By creating this recycling initiative, our aim was to provide an opportunity where whole communities are able to collect waste alongside a national network of public drop-off locations all with the unified goal to increase the number of recycled contact lenses and their associated packaging, thereby reducing their impact on landfills," said Szaky Recently, a newcomer to the program was announced and is just north of Orillia: Earlier, the following other local eye doctors announced their participation in the program:
To learn more about the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program, become a public drop-off location or to search for their nearest participating location, visit https://www.terracycle.ca/brigades/bausch-and-lomb.

Local optometrists provide contact lens recycling through TerraCycle program

Drop off boxes at Limestone Eye Care (left) and Bayview Optometry (right) for the recycling of disposable contact lenses through the Bausch+Lomb /TerraCycle program.
Local eye doctors are helping divert waste by collecting disposable contact lenses and their packaging as part of an Ontario-wide recycling program. The Bausch + Lomb ‘Every Contact Counts Recycling Program,’ run by TerraCycle, recycles contact lens waste, keeping it out of landfills. “Programs like the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program allow eye doctors to work within their community and take an active role in preserving the environment, beyond what their local municipal recycling programs are able to provide,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “By creating this recycling initiative, our aim was to provide an opportunity where whole communities are able to collect waste alongside a national network of public drop-off locations, all with the unified goal to increase the number of recycled contact lenses and their associated packaging, thereby reducing their impact on landfills.” Limestone Eye Care, located at 215 Princess Street, is one of two local drop-off locations for the recycling program. Dr. Justin Epstein said that he was approached to join the program in September 2019, and he jumped at the chance. “I loved the idea – what’s not to love about it?” Epstein stated. “When it comes to safety and prevention of contact lens related eye disease, dailies (which are disposable) are the answer. They pose the least risk of contact lens contamination since it is a sterile lens in your eye every day.” In the west end of the city, at 1260 Carmil Boulevard, Bayview Optometry recently registered for the B+L recycling program. “We registered in March this year with the assistance of Bausch + Lomb, and Dr. Alyssa Misener was the one who initiated it,” said Laura Ross, a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant (CCOA) and Contact Lens Procurement Specialist at Bayview Optometry. “Obviously, the environmental impact of disposable contact lenses is considerable and we wanted to do our part in not contributing to the problem; making it easy for our patients (and patients who belong to other practices) to have access to a responsible way of disposing of their contact lenses.” Both optometry offices shared that their patients are often concerned about the environmental impact of daily disposable contact lenses. “Without a recycling program, these plastics end up in the trash,” Epstein said. “Even if patients try to recycle their contacts, Kingston municipal recycling does not offer contact lens recycling services at this time. Due to the size of the contact lenses and their packaging, these materials are sorted at recycling facilities and directed into a waste stream, contributing to the volume of waste in Canadian landfills.” Furthermore, the recycling program helps keep contact lenses out of the municipal wastewater, as a fair number of disposable contact lens users flush their lenses down the sink drain or toilet, Ross explained of additional benefits of the program. “Most people seemed to be throwing out their spent lenses, either in the garbage or tossing them into the toilet, which end up in our waterways,” she shared. And with the assets boasted by daily lenses, it’s easy to see why the number of disposable lens users continues to grow — and therefore, recycling services are needed. According to Ross, the advantages of a daily disposable lens include no solution or storing, and better eye health, as well as the choice to wear contacts or glasses on any given day. Epstein shared that the new technology in contact lens materials provides “greater comfort, better vision and healthier eyes than ever before.” “As a result, patients who have previously failed with contacts in the past are now finding comfort, and the number of people using contact lenses is growing daily,” he stated. Ross added that more than half of the contact lens wearing patients at Bayview Optometry are using daily disposables, despite the cost being higher than monthly or bi-weekly replacement lenses, which, she said, is due to the convenience and benefits of the style. Both optometry offices welcome anyone who uses daily disposables to participate in the recycling program, regardless of where they purchase the lenses. The program accepts all brands of lenses and the packaging material, except the cardboard. Epstein stated that patients often ask what happens to the products after they go into the recycling program. “Once received, the contact lenses and blister packs are sorted and cleaned,” he shared. “The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the lenses and plastic components of the blister packs are melted down into plastic that can be remoulded to create new products, such as benches, picnic tables, and playground equipment.” Contact lens wearers can visit Limestone Eye Care at 215 Princess Street, and Bayview Optometry at 1260 Carmil Boulevard to drop off their used lenses and packaging. Learn more about the Bausch + Lomb program on the TerraCycle website.

Recycle the non-recyclable with our TerraCycle trial

Have you heard about our trial with recycling organisation TerraCycle, allowing our residents to recycle items usually headed for the burgundy waste bin? The trial will last until mid-November and will let residents take new types of waste to the Blackburn and Darwen HWRC’s for the first time ever to be recycled. Biscuit wrappers, Pringles tubes, plastic toothbrushes and coffee bags are included in the items that can be dropped off during the trial period.