Garbage to Gold

I google searched Garbage to Gold to find out the numerous of projects and initiatives that are available on the web in turning Garbage into marketable products. More importantly, I wanted to learn from the projects the technology used which could be applied in Mauritius.

Whilst composting seems to be the general idea, it is interesting to find out the different composting methods. Recently I was talking to some eco experts in Riambel who are test driving a compost digester for the chicken farms in the south region. Anaerobic digesters have been used for centuries and is one alternative.

But have heard of vermicomposting? TerraCycle promotes this technique which seems to catch up fast. Would it possible to use the ideas promoted by TerraCycle in Mauritius?

Turning Garbage to Gold in Japan is also catching up too. Would our municipal authorities pick up ideas from what is being tried out in the city of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Food and kitchen wastes from hotels could well be negative raw material to convert in fertilisers too?

Turning old containers into raw material is another great idea that I picked up from TerraCycle. Is it very Chinese to keep the old containers of margarine to be used as food container for the kids to carry their sandwiches at school?

Terra Cycle Story:

TerraCycle was founded in the fall of 2001 in a Princeton University dorm room — 82 Blair Hall to be exact. The idea was simple: take waste, process it, and turn it into a useful product.

The initial business plan was written for a business plan contest sponsored by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club. The following summer, Tom Szaky and Jon Beyer made arrangements with Princeton Dining Services to accept dining hall waste and process it in their prototype ‘Worm Gin’. The waste turned out to be a bit messier than they had anticipated, but they perservered. Towards the end of that summer, they found their first investor who learned of the company through an interview with Bernard Spigner. They shortly moved into their first office at 20 Nassau St, Unit 14.

Tom took an extended leave of absence from Princeton in the spring of 2003. In May of 2003, Tom entered the Carrot Capital business plan contest, which offered $1 million in seed capital to the winning team. And TerraCycle won! However, they turned down the money because they didn’t like the direction in which Carrot Capital wanted to take the company.

The company continued, funded by prize money from business plan contests and angel investors. A major breakthrough was achieved in May of 2004 when The Home Depot began selling TerraCycle Plant Foodâ„¢ on their website. In 2005, TerraCycle continued their growth as Whole Foods, Home Depot Canada, Wal*Mart Canada, Wild Oats and Do-It-Best began carrying the TerraCycle line.

Most recently, TerraCycle has been named one of the 100 most innovative companies by Red Herring magazine and been awarded the Environmental Stewardship Award from Home Depot Canada. The Environmental Stewardship Award is one of only two company-wide awards given by Home Depot Canada.


#1 Shah on 08.25.08 at 6:36 pm

Check out Thermal Conversion Process – it can be put into use to turn garbage into petroleum products.
In mid 2005, I’d pitched in the idea to the SADC folks and never received a response. They lack vision.
Anyway, TerraCycle rocks. This entry is very informative.

#2 joseph on 08.26.08 at 10:09 pm

Thanks for your comments. Would like to see better use of our increasing volume of garbage turn into useful products. God sake when will we do something about it!Sustainable green Mauritius blablabla no action!

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