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Tom SzakyWhen facing the challenges on our planet, it is important to focus on the opportunity. Tom Szaky does not look through a lens of seeing waste everywhere but rather the lens of “what can we do with it.”  He thinks about closing loops as the thought leader at TerraCycle – an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in the recycling hard-to-recycle waste.  We are talking recycling just about everything from diapers (yes – diapers) to cigarette butts to fluorescent lamps and batteries and the list goes on. Using innovative and creative business models, they partner with companies, schools, municipalities and individuals to provide zero-waste solutions and they help with providing support on how to run green events and provide the best possible recycling solutions.  Tom Szaky is fun, funny, intense and on an unstoppable mission to help make our planet a cleaner, safer and healthier place for all of us. Maybe that’s why over 202 million people in 21 countries have joined hands with TerraCycle to help collect and recycle enough waste to raise over 44 million dollars for charities around the world.



  • How simple can waste truly be? We start teaching sustainability with reduce, reuse and recycle – human beings are the key to this equation because we consume.
  • The act of not buying – reducing or refusing to buy – is truly the first step and then looking at the quality of what we are purchasing.
  • We are voting every day on the future that we want – with our wallets.
  • How are system inputs and outputs influencing the issues we are facing on our planet? When did our problems take root in our history? Important insights shared on this podcast.
  • What drives the entire waste equation? The value of material – where does it come from, why does it exist and what are the solutions for it today?
  • In the past 24 months, waste has moved from a problem to a crisis – this shift has spurred multi-layers of our society (from individuals to massive corporations) to take action to address the crisis.
  • The individual consumer has all the power – very important to understand. Tom illustrates the power of the individual and the magic that can happen by embracing our power – join us to learn more.
  • Recycling is an answer to the system of waste but not the root cause of waste.
  • What is the history of the waste system in America and how did this history inspire TerraCycle’s Loop? Important information shared on this podcast!
  • TerraCycle tackles the hard to tackle waste in our society – such as diapers and cigarettes. There are three questions that have to be asked with each waste stream: How can we collect them? How will it be processed? How will it be funded?
  • What makes something not recyclable? The key is not just looking at the value of the material. Tom provides clarity and understanding on this show – join us!
  • Everything in the TerraCycle offices are made from waste. What is like to work at TerraCycle – Tom gives us the insiders perspective.
  • Shop with the understanding that you are voting for the future you want – whatever you buy today, 2 more will show up tomorrow and everything you did not buy, 1 less will show up tomorrow. Want to understand why? Listen to this show.



Music used in this podcast is copyrighted and licensed through Turtle Island Records/Libby Roderick Music