About the business:
TerraCycle sells what other people pay to have taken away: garbage. During his freshman year at Princeton, Tom Szaky watched his friends use organic waste to grow, umm...herbs. Inspired by the thought of using waste as a valuable commodity -- a market that is virtually untouched -- Szaky soon founded TerraCycle in Trenton, New Jersey.
TerraCycle has collected billions of pieces of waste in 11 different countries and has either recycled or "up-cycled" them into over 1,500 various products available at major retailers ranging from Wal-mart to Whole Foods Market. As for the future of this eco-friendly company, Szaky expresses concern that others will enter the market, but for now it's safe to say the market is all his.
--By Ashley Bush and Daron Sharps
The companies on this year's Inner City 100 have managed to build fast-growing businesses in economically depressed cities. Here's how they are doing it. More
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