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  • Making Art Out of Waste

    [caption id="attachment_2420" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="TerraCycle Products"]Recycle [/caption]

    Like most people, after you finish a bottle of water or wine, you would recycle it right? Well this is not the case for interns at TerraCycle, a waste solution development business, where they take recycled bottles and trash and transform it into art. Penelope Green of the New York Times discusses further in her article Making Design out of Rubbish.

    On a blazing hot weekday late last month, 6 of the 82 summer interns at TerraCycle, a “waste solution development” company, were shoveling mortar into a trench in the company’s scrubby courtyard and layering it with beer and wine bottles, nearly 2,000 that they had plucked in the previous week or so from the Dumpsters of neighborhood bars.

    The interns, students in product design, marketing and architecture, were overheated but cheerful, sorting bottles by color, hosing one another down as the temperature rose into the triple digits and comparing notes on which bars had the best bottle harvest. By midday, however, that harvest had been largely depleted, though the retaining wall the crew was building — a swoopy napoleon of trash — was still only a foot high. Max Gilbert, a 21-year-old product design student from Lehigh University, spoke for the group now huddled damply in the trapezoid of shade thrown by an umbrella when he said solemnly in his best Roy Scheider imitation, “We’re going to need more bottles. A lot more bottles.”

    Welcome to Garbage Camp, a highly collaborative effort from the design studio of TerraCycle, which was started 10 years ago by a Princeton dropout, Tom Szaky, with a single product, Worm Poop, a plant food made from just what you’d think. (Garbage Camp is this reporter’s phrase, not the company’s.) Now, TerraCycle collects garbage from companies that make juice pouches, chips, candy and single-serve espresso tins, to name just a few of the waste streams it has a toe in, and turns them into items like tote bags, portable speakers and notebooks that are sold at big-box stores like Target and Wal-Mart.

    Read more at the New York Times

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