Beyond the ‘Uber of Trash’: The Platform Economy and New Life for Old Businesses

You can’t tell from the company’s name, but Rubicon Global could become the Uber of trash.

It doesn’t match drivers with people who want rides but is a platform for haulers of commercial waste; it manages routing such haulers to commercial generators of waste, saving driver time and customer money. The platform strengthens competition relative to the one or two dominant haulers in North America while breathing new life into the independent hauling industry.

But that’s not the only thing that makes this company stand out. Once it gets the waste, it works with recyclers that have sophisticated systems to sort the waste and then bundle and sell the recyclable portion in bulk. Rubicon shares the revenues with the commercial waste generators, providing another source of monetary savings to customers.

By finding much greater efficiencies in waste management, Rubicon is reducing the need for landfills, which not only are eyesores that people don’t want to live near but also growing too large for many cities to support.

Investors seem to like what they see: The company raised $50 million in venture funding last fall. That money will help Rubicon Global expand, eventually into the residential waste business. If and when it does, the savings to the economy and to the environment would be magnified.

Disruptive technologies are all over the economy. Look at Etsy, a platform on which all kinds of customized products are for sale. It has breathed life into a burgeoning “Maker” movement that is giving all sorts of skilled, creative people new opportunities to market their wares. Amazon and Google, of course, offer much larger platforms for a wider range of businesses, becoming in effect e-commerce malls with a global customer base.

With interest growing in socially responsible enterprises, particularly among millennials, one might expect growth in opportunities to marry Internet-based platforms with older businesses to generate economic wins all around. Rubicon Global has found synergy between an older business–trash removal–and recycling, which is good for the environment. What’s next in the platform economy that is also good for the planet?

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Press Coverage

Montgomery, Ala., Installs Smart Tech on Garbage Trucks

Alabama’s capital city has entered into a three-year agreement after a six-month pilot that saw roughly 80 garbage trucks there outfitted with the RUBICONSmartCity platform to better manage routes and maintenance. Dozens of garbage collection trucks in Montgomery, Ala., have been outfitted with new smart… Keep Reading...

City of Montgomery Selects Rubicon Global for 3-Year Contract

Rubicon Global announced that the City of Montgomery, Alabama has selected Rubicon® to formally implement a smart city solution to help improve residential and commercial waste and recycling services for its more than 200,000 citizens. The City of Montgomery piloted the RUBICONSmartCity™ platform for six… Keep Reading...

Ala. City Adopts Rubicon Global Smart City Software

Following a six-month pilot, the City of Montgomery, Ala., has awarded a three-year contract to Rubicon Global for its SmartCity platform. The RUBICONSmartCity platform includes a smartphone-based mobile app, a plug-in device, and a web-based portal. The technology allows the City of Montgomery’s Solid Waste… Keep Reading...

Press Releases

Speaker Series: Rubicon’s Conor Riffle Speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

WHO: Conor Riffle, Director of Smart Cities, Rubicon Global (Twitter, Email) WHAT: The definition of smart cities is evolving. No longer is a smart city solely focused on transportation or security. Smart cities are now looking at waste and recycling, and leveraging technology and data… Keep Reading...

Co-Founder and CEO of Blueland the Latest Guest on Rubicon’s ‘Town Haul’ Podcast

Atlanta, GA (August 2, 2019) — Rubicon Global today announced its latest ‘Town Haul’ podcast is now live with the Co-Founder and CEO of Blueland, Sarah Paiji Yoo. On the Rubicon® ‘Town Haul’ podcast, Sarah discusses the origins of Blueland and how the proliferation of… Keep Reading...

Speaker Series: Rubicon’s Michael Allegretti Speaking at the 2019 Dentons Global Smart Cities and Communities Summit

WHO: Michael Allegretti, Chief Strategy Officer, Rubicon Global (Twitter, Email) WHAT: The definition of smart cities is evolving. No longer is a smart city solely focused on transportation or security. Smart cities are now looking at waste and recycling, and leveraging technology and data to… Keep Reading...

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