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TerraCycle Gets Behind Facebook Game “Trash Tycoon”

TerraCycle, a company that specializes in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste, is sponsoring a sustainability-themed social game for Facebook.

Created by Manhattan-based startup Guerillapps, the game, called Trash Tycoon, is the first ever to highlight the concept of upcycling.

Upcycling, a process in which discarded waste is repurposed for valuable use, can range from building a house of abandoned material to finding innovative uses for discarded plastic bags.

Facebook users who play the game take on the role of recycling entrepreneurs by collecting litter in a trash strewn city and upcycling waste into higher quality, environmentally-friendly products. After completing missions, users collect money and earn points to ultimately earn the title of garbage tycoons.

The game’s trash-tackling premise directly mirrors that of sponsor TerraCycle in the real world.

“Something as simple as a social game where players earn points for recycling in the real world is capable of changing people’s behavior for the better,” said Raviv Turner, co-founder and CEO of Guerillapps. “We’ve organically integrated real-world recycling goals into the game to ensure that players have fun and see Trash Tycoon first and foremost as a game, while at the same time presenting a proactive approach for more mindful actions as users approach real-life situations with acquired knowledge from Trash Tycoon.”

Guerillapps says Trash Tycoon is the first social and mobile gaming platform to focus on real-world ties and deep brand integration, such as the appearance of empty boxes or wrappers for Kraft products – a TerraCycle partner.

Trash Tycoon players can communicate and collaborate in real time during play, a feature that the creators hope will encourage a global conversation about waste issues.

“Trash Tycoon’s message speaks to the core mission of our company by presenting a fun yet innovative solution that aids in educating others on the importance behind environmental responsibility,” says Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle.

Guerillapps also shares a charitable partnership with, to which they donate 10% of revenues from Trash Tycoon’s virtual currency to support carbon offset projects around the world.

Guerillapps says it plans to apply Trash Tycoon’s real-world approach to other areas like health, fitness and energy and more.

In June, Recyclebank published a whitepaper in conjunction with Google explaining lessons the company has learned in creating real world contests and prizes for “gaming” changes in environmental behavior.

Bart King is a PR consultant and founder of Cleantech Communications.

Bart King is the principal and founder of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. Follow him @bart_king and on LinkedIn.

[Read more about Bart King]

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