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Tom Szaky
Tom Szaky

Tom Szaky


Trenton, NJ USA

"The challenging part is in the beginning; it's a leap of faith."

Career Roadmap

Tom's work combines: Business, Environment & Nature, and Upholding a Cause and Belief

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Day In The Life


I collect hard-to-recycle waste to be recycled or upcycled and work towards eliminating the idea of waste.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Economics, General

    Princeton University

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    His parents immigrated to Canada from Hungary and they always placed a huge emphasis on his education.

  • 2.

    When he went to Princeton University, he encountered a problem: while in Canada, he could drink alcohol at 18, the legal age limit in the U.S. is 21.

  • 3.

    To solve that problem, he and his friends took a weekend road trip up to Montreal.

  • 4.

    While there, they hung out with some friends who were using worm poop (rather than chemical fertilizer) to grow plants in their basement.

  • 5.

    He realized that you can get paid to take someone's garbage, and then, using the worms, you could turn that into a fertilizer you could sell.

  • 6.

    After he returned to Princeton, he was obsessed by the idea; he drew out a business plan in his dorm room and decided to drop out to pursue it.

  • 7.

    His parents had a hard time accepting that he was going to drop out of this amazing university, but his passion for the project reassured them.

  • 8.

    Today, TerraCycle is a multi-million-dollar green company, and in 2006, Tom was named "#1 CEO Under 30."