Using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. Rubicon’s mission is to end waste by helping its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals.
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Rubicon is a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide.
Rubicon was founded in Kentucky in 2008.
The waste and recycling industry has not seen innovation in thousands of years. In ancient times, societies the world over used landfills to dispose of waste, burying it in the ground and forgetting about it even as it broke down and released chemicals into their land, water systems and, ultimately, their food.
Fast-forward to today and things are much the same. The massive environmental impact of the accumulation of waste is now undeniable, but there have been no major scientific or technical advances to help us fight back. It was solving this growing, global problem – and finding market-based solutions to do so – that planted the seed in Nate Morris’ mind for a new kind of waste management company. Nate, a Kentuckian, connected with an old high school friend, Marc Spiegel, whose family had been in the waste and recycling business for more than a century, and asked if there was a better, more sustainable way to deal with the global waste problem.
Together they went to work. Morris maxed out his personal credit cards and even sold items on eBay to fund initial expenses. They came up with the name Rubicon, a reference to the idiom “crossing the Rubicon,” which means to pass a point of no return and refers to Julius Caesar’s army crossing the Rubicon River in 49 BC. With this humble start, but grand ambition, Rubicon was born.
Today, Rubicon is the worldwide leader in providing cloud-based waste and recycling solutions for customers in business, government, and the non-profit sectors.
With more than 4.9 million service locations worldwide, the company focuses on developing cutting-edge software that brings transparency to the waste and recycling industry, encouraging customers to make data-driven decisions that lead to more efficient and effective operations that drive more sustainable outcomes.
Rubicon manages all waste and recycling services through its extensive network of more than 7,000 vendor and hauler partners. Programs include cardboard (OCC), plastic, paper, metal, glass, electronics recycling, construction and demolition (C&D), organics recycling (including food waste and composting services), and single-stream recycling solutions (SSR). In addition, our subject matter experts manage commodity markets, zero-waste programs, and other sustainability offerings across our portfolio. Rubicon also offers a cutting-edge smart city solution, RUBICONSmartCity™, that helps city governments run more efficient, effective, and sustainable waste and recycling operations.
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George Washington Carver Award
Highlighting innovation at Rubicon
At Rubicon, we not only encourage innovation and creativity, but challenge our global team members to set the bar high and their goals even higher. So in honor of a man who dedicated his life’s work to innovating and challenging the norms in our society, we established the George Washington Carver Innovation Award in 2018.