Rubicon: Tapping an App to Dump

Independent haulers can be more efficient at finding alternatives to landfills such as recycling or composting. It has become a Silicon Valley cliché to describe companies as an “Uber” for their particular sector. But in the case of Rubicon, which bills itself as “Uber for Trash”, the epithet is not misplaced.

The Atlanta-based company offers commercial garbage pick-up at the tap of an app, and has former Uber executives as advisers.

The premise of Rubicon is that its app links commercial customers with independent waste haulers on demand, with the goal of cutting costs for customers and reducing landfill. This model upends the system of subscription-based services run by the biggest US waste companies, which are landfill owners that make money by filling up their own sites. Independent haulers can be more efficient at finding alternatives such as recycling or composting, and under Rubicon pickups occur only when needed.

Chief executive Nate Morris says Rubicon uses an incentive system to reward customers for keeping waste out of landfills. “We believe that the free markets should lead on the environment,” he says. Regulation plays a role too: if a city institutes a measure such as banning food waste from landfills, Rubicon becomes more profitable. After fundraising late last year – Rubicon’s diverse backers include Goldman Sachs, Henry Kravis and Leonardo DiCaprio – Mr. Morris is preparing to take Rubicon. Over the next two months, it will launch in 18 countries, in addition to current operations in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

As with Uber, there are powerful incumbents and regulatory barriers in the waste industry. But Mr. Morris is optimistic. “We believe we have an issue that can unite the country and the world,” he says. “The only people who are against what we are doing are the landfill companies.”

Click here for the full interview

Press Coverage

Rubicon’s first ESG report emphasizes software pivot, $208M potential savings for cities

Dive Brief: Rubicon's first-ever environmental, social and governance (ESG) report leans into recent efforts to rebrand as a software provider, with new data on $208 million in projected savings for U.S. municipalities that use the company's smart cities platform. Among multiple examples, Rubicon cites its… Keep Reading...

The Importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance Efforts in the COVID-19 Era: A Q&A with Rubicon

Rubicon, an industry leader in providing smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide, released its inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report earlier this month. The report details an array of sustainability solutions based on the company’s experiences delivering positive environmental results… Keep Reading...

Colleges and Universities Stop 380 Million Plastic Bottles From Going to the Landfill

RecycleMania announced its partnership with Rubicon, naming it the competition’s official sustainability and technology partner. Rubicon, a technology company born in the waste and recycling industry that powers a digital marketplace, provides a suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) products for waste, recycling, and… Keep Reading...

Press Releases

Rubicon Releases Inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report

Outlines technology-based sustainability solutions to reduce emissions, eliminate waste Atlanta, Georgia (May 6, 2020) — Rubicon®, a technology company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, today released its inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report. Titled Toward a Future… Keep Reading...

Rubicon Offers Customers Free COVID-19 Regulation Tracker, Powered by Libryo

Atlanta, Georgia (April 23, 2020) — Rubicon, a technology company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, and legal technology company Libryo, have partnered to offer a COVID-19 regulation tracker to Rubicon’s customers. As part of its ongoing commitment to… Keep Reading...

Congress Cannot Ignore Nation’s Independent Waste Haulers in COVID-19 Relief Package

Rubicon CEO Nate Morris says adopting four key points in plan crucial to hauler viability and public safety Atlanta, Georgia (March 20, 2020) — Legislation targeting relief for the United States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic should include a four-point plan targeting the nation’s… Keep Reading...