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R&D Scientist

The Associate role will help to keep the department organized by tracking active projects and samples that come through for evaluation. 

About Us:

TerraCycle ( is the world leader in the collection and recycling of post-consumer “non-recyclable” waste. In over 20 countries, we collect billions of units of waste, mostly plastic packaging that is otherwise destined for landfill or incineration. By collecting coherent waste streams (millions of chip bags, millions of pens, millions of toothbrushes, etc.) each segregated, we are able to use third party facilities to recycle these waste streams into plastic pellets for use by manufacturers, which provide the specifications for the recycled plastics to then be made into their products.

Our collection business is funded by major brands in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry (Kraft, Colgate, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, Mars, Kimberly Clark, GSK, etc.) that pay us to operate post-consumer collection programs. Via these collection programs, we render previously non-recyclable packaging or products nationally recyclable. TerraCycle also works with our brand partners’ manufacturing facilities and packaging suppliers to recycle their pre-consumer or post-industrial waste.  This results in the collection of millions of pounds of “clean” factory waste that TerraCycle can process and sell into various product applications.

This is a position based out of TerraCycle’s Global Headquarters in Trenton, NJ.  The R&D Associate will report to the Director of Process and Product Development on the R&D Team, with oversight from the Global VP of R&D and the VP of Material Sales & Procurement.  This team has already developed recycling solutions for wide ranges of waste that TerraCycle collects, including chip bags, juice pouches, cigarette butts, beach plastics, and chewed gum.  The Associate role will help to keep the department organized by tracking active projects and samples that come through for evaluation. 

The successful candidate should be highly organized with excellent written and oral communication skills.  We are looking for a candidate with a background in Material Science or a related field who has some familiarity with different polymers.  This role has job functions split between laboratory testing and internal project management.

Job Objectives:

  • Enthusiastically solve various material and processing challenges
  • Effectively find, source, and manage vendor partners
  • Update and maintain inventory system for experiments and samples
  • Manage assigned projects and maintain project tracking information
  • Run laboratory testing and experiments
  • Perform materials characterization testing and physical properties testing
  • Communicate project updates and scientific developments to critical staff and accounts
  • Complete all other related tasks and assignments


  • Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science or a related Engineering field.
  • 2-3 years of experience in the Plastics Industry.
  • Must have very strong organizational skills.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication/presentation skills.
  • Must be capable of handling and prioritizing multiple projects/tasks at the same time.
  • Laboratory experience is a plus.
  • Material characterization and properties testing is a plus (FTIR, DSC, Melt Flow Index, Vicat, Tensile, etc.).
  • Knowledge of Recycling is a plus (material recycling codes, material properties, etc.).

Benefits & Compensation:

  • Salary commensurate with experience.
  • Generous paid time off.
  • 401(k) with company match.
  • Company offers health and life insurance benefits.

To apply:

Send a resume and cover letter with the subject line "R&D Scientist" to Dr. Ernie Simpson at