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Pivot’s New Docu-Series ‘Human Resources’ Takes the Trash Out of TV


NEW YORK (July 1, 2014) – What if there were a use for everything we throw away? If so, could we eliminate the idea of trash altogether?  That is the question that drives Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, an award-winning international company that takes incredible amounts of anything and everything that is landfill bound – from millions of used potato chip bags to tens of millions of cigarette butts – and recycles, upcycles, or reuses all of it.  On Friday, August 8 at 10 pm ET/PT, Pivot will premiere “Human Resources,” a new kind of docu-comedy that pulls the curtain back on life at TerraCycle, one of the fastest growing green businesses in the world and whose mission is to “eliminate the idea of waste®.” Produced by Left/Right, the half-hour original series will debut as a lead-in to the second season premiere of the critically acclaimed series “Please Like Me.”

“TerraCycle is a remarkable and pioneering company, but it’s also a quirky workplace with its own unreasonable bosses, inscrutable co-workers, and often bizarre staff meetings… making it the perfect setting for a great TV show.  Amidst the fun of the office, the show offers great takeaway on the science behind their innovations,” comments Belisa Balaban, EVP, Original Programming for Pivot.

TerraCycle, widely considered to be the world leader in the collection and repurposing of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste, is run by 32-year-old entrepreneur and Princeton dropout Szaky, who encourages his employees to come up with bigger and better ways of transforming what we consider “waste.” The eclectic staff of this New Jersey-based company is very much like a family and where there is family, there are characters. The 120 employees run the gamut from science geeks and eco-passionates who take time away from their (recycled) desks to snack on kale chips and take part in office yoga, to skeptical, more straight-laced employees who work hard and provide a balance to the crazy antics that sometimes bend the rules of corporate America.

The colorful employees seen on the 10 half-hour episodes include Albe Zakes, VP of Global Marketing & Communications, who started at TerraCycle as an intern eight years ago. His gift of reading people is credited as a major reason why the company has not paid a dime for advertising under his tenure; Tiffany Threadgould, Chief Design Junkie, who spearheads themed activities in the office including “rainbow day” and “superhero sock day,” and always has her Pomeranian, Tia, in tow (and costume!); Rick Zultner,  Scientist, who is a key player in making Tom’s vision’s become a reality; and Dean Innocenzi, Graphic Designer, who drops beats while tagging TerraCycle’s Headquarters. Inspired by the series, Pivot and TerraCycle have joined forces with Recycle Across America to roll out Recycle Right!, a social action campaign focused on transforming recycling and improving the economics and prevalence of sustainable packaging and manufacturing. The campaign will feature informational videos, tips and practical solutions – such as standardized recycling labels — to help everyone recycle right and increase the amount of quality raw recycled materials available to be used by manufacturers looking to lessen their environmental footprint.

“Human Resources” is a Pivot Original Series in association with Left/Right. Jeff Skoll and Belisa Balaban serve as Executive Producers for Pivot. Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, and Anneka Jones serve as Executive Producers for Left/Right.

Episode descriptions for the first two episodes follow.

EPISODE ONE: “TALKIN’ TRASH” Premieres Friday, August 8 at 10:30pm ET/PT Tom and TerraCycle are close to finalizing a deal for a coffee table book of DIY upcycling ideas but the team first needs to create a sample chapter. In preparation for a meeting with the publisher, Albe asks Dean to work on being more professional.

EPISODE TWO: “FROM ZERO TO HERO” Premieres Friday, August 15 at 10:30pm ET/PT In an effort to expand their Zero Waste recycling program to small businesses, Rhandi and Dan work on developing a successful sales pitch strategy. While accompanying them on their pitches, Stephen stumbles upon a potential new waste stream.  


About Pivot
Pivot (Pivot.tv) is a television network from Participant Media serving passionate Millennials (18-34) with a diverse slate of original series, acquired programming, films and documentaries. Pivot focuses on entertainment that sparks conversation, inspires change and illuminates issues through engaging content and, through its website TakePart.com, connects audiences to a wealth of content and customizable actions. Pivot is available nationally via major cable providers and offers subscribers a live and on-demand streaming option via its interactive, downloadable Pivot app. Follow Pivot on Twitter at @pivot_tv and on Facebook at facebook.com/pivottelevision.