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TerraCycle collects garbage and turns it into products. Maybe they can take you from unemployed and turn you into a successful employee.

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I have my big annual fishing trip coming up next week, which means that I’m starting to go through my mental gear checklist. One thing that I’ve been looking for is some sort of pack to carry all of my stuff when I’m on the river. I used to use a vest, but it’s no longer doing the job. In my search for a perfect pack, I came across a company called Recycled Waders that makes gear out of old waders (waterproof boots that go up to your chest to keep you dry while standing in the water). I’m pretty sure they’re too small to have any job opportunities right now, but luckily I found a company (from a reader e-mail) that takes a similar approach, but with a much larger audience. They’re called TerraCycle (based in Trenton, NJ), and they turn trash into stuff. You can get an insulated cooler made out of Skittles bags. Or a kite made out of Oreo wrappers. Or a tote bag made of Capri Sun pouches. It’s all about making “affordable, eco-friendly products from a wide range of different non-recyclable waste materials.”

The New Alchemy

TerraCycle got its start when Tom Szaky to pursue his passion for worm poop. Yes, that’s right. TerraCycle was founded as an organic fertilizer company that used worms to process compostable material. They’ve kept their green focus but have moved towards less crappy product offerings. Here’s a video rundown of what TerraCycle does and how it all works.

One of the things that I really like about TerraCycle is how they collect the garbage that they turn into products. They put together Brigades to collect specific types of trash. People on the brigades (you can join one) can turn in the garbage they collect to non-profits or schools, and TerraCycle makes a donation in return for the collected garbage. It’s brilliant. If you like what TerraCycle is doing, then you should give their Jobs page a look. The jobs they have posted right now require a little more experience than most new grads would have, but the Licensing Account Executive, Retail Relationship Manager, and Business Development Manager positions are still worth a look.

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