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?

Click here for the full interview

Press Coverage

‘Trick or Trash’: TerraCycle and Rubicon partner for candy wrapper recycling

The companies have launched a campaign to help teachers educate their students on the importance of recycling and keeping candy wrappers out of landfills. According to industry data, $2.6 billion will be spent on candy in 2019, and Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of… Keep Reading...

Rubicon Global Launches “Trick or Trash” Halloween Campaign to Keep Candy Wrappers Out of Landfills

Rubicon Global announces that the company has launched a Halloween campaign designed to help elementary and middle-school teachers across the United States educate their students on the importance of recycling and keeping candy wrappers out of landfills. The campaign is in keeping with the company’s… Keep Reading...

Rubicon Launches Halloween Campaign to Divert Candy Wrappers from Landfills

Rubicon is running its first-ever “Trick or Trash” campaign, as well as a Candy and Snack Wrappers Zero Waste Box via TerraCycle. Rubicon Global announced that it has launched a Halloween campaign designed to help elementary and middle school teachers across the U.S. educate their… Keep Reading...

Press Releases

Rubicon Global Launches “Trick or Trash” Halloween Campaign to Keep Candy Wrappers Out of Landfills

Free Offering from Rubicon® Aims to Help With the Waste and Recycling Challenges of Today Atlanta, Georgia (October 16, 2019) — Rubicon Global today announced that the company has launched a Halloween campaign designed to help elementary and middle-school teachers across the United States educate… Keep Reading...

Speaker Series: Rubicon Global’s Michael Allegretti Speaking at the Inaugural Smart Waste, Smart Resources Conference

WHO: Michael Allegretti, Chief Strategy Officer at Rubicon Global (Twitter, Blog) WHAT: The inaugural Smart Waste, Smart Resources conference in the United Kingdom will focus on digital solutions coming to the waste industry, driven by the need for greater accountability and improved resource management, and… Keep Reading...

Rubicon Global Receives 2019 Smart City Innovation Award from IoT Evolution World

Atlanta, GA (September 25, 2019) – Rubicon Global announced today that RUBICONSmartCity™ has received a 2019 IoT Evolution Smart City Innovation Award from IoT Evolution World, the leading online publication covering IoT technologies. The award honors organizations delivering software or hardware solutions which enable the… Keep Reading...