Skip to content

Waste and recycling in the circular economy

Waste is a direct outcome of the way our global economy currently works, but it is becoming clear that waste also threatens the way in which it needs to function in the future.

The world produces more than two billion metric tons of municipal solid waste each year—a figure that is estimated to grow by 70 percent by the year 2050.2

Throughout history, people believed that our only choice was to burn or bury this waste—and several industries and businesses grew out of that assumption. But waste is also undermining our way of life. Plastic, microbeads, and other toxins end up in our water and in the food we eat. The damage incurred by harmful byproducts of waste can last for centuries. As waste degrades, it gives off emissions that threaten our quality of life and the world’s ecosystem.


estimated growth by 2050

2 billion

metric tons of municipal solid waste each year produced by the world

We believe there is a better way: More recycling, more reduction of waste at its source, better and more efficient handling of waste, and more innovative approaches to building a circular economy at scale. A circular economy encourages and rewards the reuse of natural resources and man-made materials.3

At the core of our business, Rubicon seeks to support the creation of a circular economy. We help governments and businesses avoid the increased costs and measures required to reduce and remove waste and increase recycling—funds that can be redeployed elsewhere.