Hi there! Who are you? Tell us something about yourself!
I’m Tommaso, the CEO of Byewaste and one of the co-founders of the company. I am Italian but I have been living in Rotterdam for several years.
I graduated in management engineering before moving to TU Delft and working there as a researcher in sustainability and recycling technologies. The functioning of “systems” has always fascinated me, from industrial plants to societies.
Alongside my passion for sustainability, I have been painting since I was a child. In some ways, I consider myself an artist.
What are your tasks at Byewaste?
I develop the Byewaste strategy and make sure that all team members are aligned and being heard. Developing a great product is not enough, there has to be a great team behind it.
I make sure that the team works, that everyone is excited about our next steps and that each team member feels part of our mission. I try to listen as much as possible and talk less myself (or at least, I do my best).
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I got my first glimpse of Byewaste on my way to a smart city hackathon. I had no idea what I was going to work on, so I thought, the “Internet of Things” is huge, why isn’t anyone talking about the other side, the “Internet of Waste”?
This intuition – combined with mine and Francisco’s experience in the recycling industry – gave the initial spark to everything.
Why did you want to work for the company?
I’m usually the one asking this question, but answering it myself is a great anchoring point for me.
During my experience as an entrepreneur, I realized how important it is to keep the reason why you started in mind. This is very valuable as it helps you not to give up.
I am working to make sustainability truly accessible to all and to make everyone part of it, removing all frictions and simplifying the recycling process to the minimum. Nature has designed its recycling effortlessly, think of leaves falling from a tree, so we too should strive for simplicity.
What do you like most about your job?
My team, their unique spirit and the way the same passion takes different forms in each of us.
And what do you like least about it?
Time and the fact that we only have 24h every day. Well, more or less 8 every day.
Why do you think that people should start recycling more?
Since our planet is a closed system, we can’t just continue to landfill or incinerate everything. On the other hand, we also don’t want to give up our modern comfort.
The solution is to extend the life of existing items by repairing them or by recycling them to recover valuable materials and start over.
What is the nicest item that you have ever thrifted?
I have a whole collection of crazy mugs from thrift stores in different countries that I have visited. I think it’s the quintessential souvenir!
When would you have especially benefited from our service yourself?
I recently moved back to Rotterdam and realized, once again, the incredible amount of books and objects that I have accumulated. Some old smartphones that I own are supposed to be in a museum.
How do you contribute to a more sustainable future in your personal life?
I have been a vegetarian since I was 20 years old and do not have a driver’s license yet. A small contribution to the planet, but a big problem every time I have to ask my friends for a lift.
Which sustainable habit would you like to apply in your own life?
I would like to recycle my food waste and compost directly in my apartment in Rotterdam. I don’t know why there isn’t a compost maker in every home, just like there is a microwave.