If viewers who tuned into the second season of the workplace reality show “Human Resources” on Pivot this month came away feeling vindicated for Tony Rossi, the new guy who proved himself on trivia night, or relieved for Dan Harris, the sales director who scored an important new account, Tom Szaky, their boss, wouldn’t mind.
But Mr. Szaky, the chief executive and founder of TerraCycle, the Trenton company at the heart of the series, also hopes viewers picked up a more subtle message: that modern start-ups can have barrier-busting potential.
“I think a lot of people think they have two options when they go to work: They can make tons of money at a for-profit company that doesn’t do much good in the world, or they can do something that serves humanity and make very little money,” said Mr. Szaky, 33, of Titusville. “One of the reasons we wanted to do the TV series was to show that doing good can also create revenue and phenomenal value.”
Mr. Szaky (pronounced ZAK-key) founded TerraCycle, which recycles waste and, to a smaller extent, upcycles it into more useful products, in 2001 after dropping out of Princeton University. The company has come a long way since its early days, when it sold only worm excrement packaged as fertilizer in recycled plastic bottles.