Uber-style app for garbage aims to boost recycling rates

A US waste start-up has announced plans to launch an app that allows users to call for a rubbish collection, the same way they might schedule an Uber taxi.

Atlanta-based Rubicon Global says its app will be launched in several US cities by the end of the year and will help minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.

Rubicon is currently a commercial-facing waste management company that doesn’t operate its own fleet of garbage trucks, but runs a tech platform that connects independent haulers with businesses that want to cut waste disposal costs and increase recycling.

Rubicon analyses a company’s waste flow, identifying valuable resources that can be recycled and garnering a profit based on the amount of valuable waste it can save and sell on.

The company has a commitment to diverting 100% of its customers’ waste to ‘truly sustainable’ alternatives by 2022.

It says its technology platform “makes it easy for companies to collect, analyze and interpret data to quantify cost savings and measure sustainability impacts”.

The expansion to domestic waste through the new app is reportedly the brainchild of new chief technology advisor Oscar Salazar, the former founding CTO of Uber.

Initially the on-demand collections could take up to 24-hours, depending on the amount of haulers in the area, but Rubicon says it hopes to cut this down to 30 minutes, as the service grows.

The technological ‘disruption’ of traditional waste management seems to be picking up momentum for Rubicon, which completed a $30m funding round earlier this year, and now collects waste from 60,000 commercial locations across the US.

Brad Allen

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