TerraCycle Germany, Austria and Switzerland

“Outsmart waste” is the motto the US start-up TerraCycle follows not only in its homeland but also in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With the help of so-called collection programs, waste, which is normally hard to salvage, is given another chance by the recycling and upcycling company. Even cigarette buds are used as a resource at TerraCycle.


TerraCycle Germany, Austria and Switzerland


Founder: Tom Szaky

Year of formation: 2001



Since its beginning in 2001, as a distributer of organic fertilizer made out of worm excrements, TerraCycle has become one of the fastest growing eco-businesses in the world. Today TerraCycle organizes free collection programs for materials – until now considered “unrecyclable”. The company is operating in 21 different countries with a total of 60 million consumers taking part in their programmes. To develop processes to recycle hard-to-recyclable-products, such as a pen or cigarette buds, the company is financially supported by up to 100 of the world’s biggest consumer manufacturers. For certain collection programmes, consumers furthermore receive a credit note for their TerraCycle points in order to donate those to a social initiative of their choosing. This has already resulted in 7.2 million Euros being used for charitable organizations. Through TerraCycle collection programmes over 4 Billion waste units have been collected and recycled so far. The collected waste is processed and turned into a completely new product for users and industrials.