I absolutely loved the show Garbage Moguls. I want to work at TerraCycle but I already have a good job and I do not live near Trenton NJ. I have some suggestions for Terracycle on how they might find some ideas, what to collect…etc.
Go to the craft blogs. I may blog about the environment but I read a ton of craft blogs. I have thought several times about abandoning ship here and getting back to all the craft things I love and writing about them. There a tons of REALLY talented people out there. I have read some fantastic ideas and they upcycle too. You can see these people turn anything into something else. I was recently in Idaho and at the farmers market I went through there was already someone selling bags made out of dog food bags. Contact these bloggers and send them some product (i.e. a couple of yards of chip bags…etc.). Let them do a giveaway on their blog for people who comment with ideas of what to do with it (send them a kites… those are so cool). They will definitely create things… you may ultimately decide that you cannot do what they create because it takes too much time but you can definitely have an army of creators out there when you are in creative mode. I know that you are using Facebook to try to get ideas and I do think that is awesome place but there are still some people out there who are really creative.
Take a look at what artists are doing. I found a picture of a chair made of baby food jars. Expensive to create but maybe some day you can create an exclusive line of products… Kind of like they way Gap has Banana Republic as their high-end product. Exclusive and one of kind is something people would love to see.
Start collecting the following things
Metrocards, subway cards (from different cities… tourists would like the things you make out of them as memories from their trip and locals will just like it for its pop culture appeal)
Old Gift Cards (pop culture, I do not have to tell you how corporate logo’s make people crazy)
Baby food jars (see a future post I am working on)
Tom give your staff more time at the beginning of the episode where you set up the shop you said “my staff works better in a short time frame” True or not that is just not cool. You are not giving your staff the ability to leverage all of their resources. I recognize that some of what we saw was for a good and interesting documentary you had a truck loaded with stuff but you so I doubt it was as big a surprise as it was portrayed. But you still felt comfortable saying this so you must at least kind of mean it. You are asking a group of creative people to do new creative work it does not happen in short period of time all the time.
Contact Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters (I think they are owned by the same company) they are always selling these unique products that are made by small businesses. I can easily see Anthropologie selling metrocard journals in their housewares section.
I love this company, the idea, and the creative people who work there. I wish them all continued success and I hope they keep coming up with great stuff.
Here is a video about Terracycle and up-cycling: