So, we know a thing about used office furniture – what with our extensive inventory of used desks, chairs, cubicles, cabinets and more.
But the folks at TerraCycle have taken the concept of used office furniture to a whole new stratosphere.
Take a walk around their newly-renovated, 20,000-square-foot office and you might notice some rather unusual choices: walls made from soda bottles and vinyl records, desks made from old doors, and floors covered in a patchwork of scrap carpeting.
All this makes a little more sense when you hear the company’s motto: Outsmart Waste. Since 2001, they’ve been working to eliminate the idea of waste by taking previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle items and turning them into a variety of products and materials.
Visit their website and you’ll find picture frames made from bicycle chains, tote bags made from Capri-Sun pouches, coasters made from circuit boards and plant food.
In a recent blog post for the New York Times, TerraCycle’s chief executive, Tom Szaky, writes about the philosophy behind his new office.
The company started out with a shoestring budget in a basement. Rejected paint mixes from local stores and free artwork from high school students and were used to cover the walls.
When the company moved, they wanted to keep this spirit of out-of-the-box thinking, while embracing their growth.
They’ve continued using nontraditional art to decorate their new headquarters. Local graffiti artists use the interior and exterior of the building as their rotating canvas and employees paint giant canvases (and, Szaky says, each other during weekly art parties). Work by local artists is also on display.
Finally, the company transformed a portion of their Trenton, N.J.-headquarters into a showroom for garbage. You read that right.
The floor is carpeted in turf from an old soccer field and tables, chairs and decor are all made from upcycled items – everything from fire extinguishers to wine barrels.
If you’re feeling inspired, there’s good news. You don’t have to create your own fancy in-office landfill in order to do your part for the environment. But you can collect that hard-to-recycle waste and send it to TerraCycle so they can turn all of your trash in to oh-so-hip and useful products.