Case Study: TerraCycle Teams with Tobacco Company for Cigarette Waste Collection Effort—No Ifs, Ands or Butts About It


It’s unusual for a company with revenue of $18 million to bypass media buys to help spread the word about its products and services, instead depending almost solely on non-paid, public relations efforts.But TerraCycle isn’t your usual company. Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, then a 20-year-old Princeton University freshman, the recycling company began by producing organic fertilizer, packaging liquid-worm poop in used soda bottles. From that, one might suspect that TerraCycle would have a business model that’s different from the mainstream.Here’s the model: The company creates recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste.

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