Using technologies such as visual recognition and machine learning, the company conducts an initial screening of a client’s waste streams to identify types of waste and quantities, develops a waste separation system, and then tailors a waste collection schedule. This helps customers improve their recycling rates, lower costs by reducing the frequency of waste collection, and sometimes earn extra income from selling the recyclable products (e.g., carton, paper).
As part of its mission, Rubicon educates its customers’ employees on waste separation and recycling. It also connects clients with its independent hauler network, which offers competitive prices, on-demand pickups, billing transparency and even a report on the customers’ recycling efforts. And Rubicon collaborates with other companies along the circular economy value cycle to create sustainable offerings for its small business customers, such as Michelin, which offers discount pricing on new commercial tires and retreads, and TerraCycle, an expert in hard-to-recycle waste.
Rubicon’s growth outlook is bright as more and more companies, customers and regulators push toward the circular economy. The company employees close to 300 employees and has raised over $200 million of funding to date. In 2016, Forbes named Rubicon one of the next Billion-Dollar Startups, and in 2017, Inc. named it one of the Top 25 disruptive companies. “The circular economy laid the foundation for building a company that is reinventing the waste industry – Our business model is circular by design,” said CEO Nate Morris.