Friday, April 04, 2008


I don't know what it was this week, but I ran into worm poop several times. I was looking for websites to post intern jobs and happened upon an environmental company in Trenton that I never heard of before—Terracycle. They seem to have a pretty extensive internship program and their entire communications and PR team seems run by interns. Smart idea. They pay a stipend of 100 bucks per 40 hour work week, which likely pays for gas and lunch. They post on numerous job sites and I kept running into them on every site I posted which piqued my curiosity. When you read "changing the way the world thinks about waste" you wonder what that means.

When you get to their website you are introduced to the company which makes products that are organic and they package them in recycled soda bottles. Their plant food product is made by "feeding organic waste to millions of worms"—better known as worm poop! Interestingly the company also pays people to recycle plastic bottles, energy bar wrappers, yogurt containers and drink pouches. They've even held Annual Worm Poop Factory Graffiti Jams with graffiti artists painting to beautify the community and raise community spirit

I thought all of this was cool, but clicked out of the website without thinking much more about it. The next day I got my advance email copy of the Stanford Social Innovation Review and what was the lead story? Worm poop. And the talented social entrepreneur whose idea it was—self-described eco-capitalist and co-founder Tom Szaky. Who would ever believe you could turn millions of worms to work to generate $8.6 million in projected sales for 2008? Szaky also has a blog on Inc.'s website and he's giving out free advice. Listen up. This 27 year old Princeton University dropout gives a little insight on how to generate FREE buzz. And he's right.

Smart, resourceful guy. Interesting idea. Free labor. Social entrepreneur with waste solutions. Eco-capitalist: sounds like an oxymoron.