WASTECON: Rubicon Matches Collection to Needs of On-Demand Culture

Rubicon CEO and Co-Founder Nate Morris took the stage as the keynote speaker on Wednesday to discuss technology advancements and how they can impact the industry. Rubicon is a company that uses big data — which Christy Hurlburt discussed at Ignite WASTECON on Monday — to offer a system of customized waste collection for businesses and consumers. The idea was inspired by companies such as Uber and Airbnb, which have adapted its services to an “on-demand” culture.

“Our patterns and our habits are changing, and that includes the folks that you deal with every day in your local marketplaces,” said Morris. “The way that you transact and the way that you interact with the consumer and your constituents is radically changed largely because of these two brands over the last few years.”

The idea is this: Rubicon aims to use technology to shift the entire structure of waste collection in the industry from traditional scheduling to on-demand pickup. By developing an app, Rubicon puts the power of the smartphone to use and offers consumers the ability to request collection for their waste and recycling as soon as it’s needed.

Although this shift in collection may be a difficult feat to integrate into the entire industry, Morris is confident that the evolving concept of an “I-need-it-now” society will eventually cause users to view Rubicon as a convenience necessity, much like Uber. Many investors are confident in Rubicon’s mission as well — according to Morris, the company has received more than $100 million in funding over the last 3 years.

“We believe that this is going to be one of the most transformational aspects of the industry – using applications and using technology and using the ability to change the way we interact with our industry and ultimately consumers, governments, and customers around the country,” Morris said.

Rubicon aims its business model at small, independent haulers — the folks who may not have the infrastructure to keep up in the marketplace. With Rubicon’s technology, Morris says that “everyone can get in the game.” Allowing consumers to customize their collection pickup gives smaller haulers an opportunity to become a part of the “shared economy” and engage in the industry in a way that’s different than ever before.

“We all know we want to help the local American economy, we want to give everybody opportunity to participate and to have a piece of the market share, and I think a lot of people have been very disenfranchised with a lot of the brand names that we’ve known over the years because they haven’t innovated, and they haven’t offered the service that people want in today’s economy,” Morris explained. “So, this technology proposition around the shared economy has dramatically changed the way small business now engages in the marketplace, and I think that will be the greatest catalyst over the next decade for how small business can get more market share and be more productive.”

Waste Dive asked Morris how Rubicon plans to combat the issue of compliancy for consumers. Although the idea of on-demand service is appealing to a younger generation, America’s more traditional generation may not wish to turn to technology as their only option for services. Morris explained that getting the waste industry to adapt to such changes may be challenging, but it will ultimately happen.

“Cultural aspects, they’re going to take some time to overcome, but we’re certain that our approach and the way we’re thinking about the industry — this restacking — is the future for the space and this is where the world is going,” Morris said.

Click here for the full interview

Press Coverage

Many Thought COVID Would Derail Smart Cities Work — It Didn’t

On the second day of the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, private- and public-sector tech officials discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic shifted smart city efforts and initiatives and positioned them for the future. Smart city technologies to support efforts like fleet management or remote… Keep Reading...

State Farm Arena and Rubicon Team Up to Achieve First Zero-Waste NBA All-Star Event

State Farm Arena and Rubicon have delivered the first-ever zero-waste NBA All-Star Game. The 2021 All-Star Game marked the 70th event and, for the first time ever, held four events in a single day. As a common practice across the industry, if an event has… Keep Reading...

NBA All-Star Game Touts Zero-Waste at State Farm Arena

State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, delivered what it is calling the “first-ever zero-waste NBA All-Star Game,” diverting more than 97% of waste from landfill. State Farm Arena worked with Rubicon to use the technology company’s software and equipment for collecting and hauling… Keep Reading...

Press Releases

Rubicon’s Renaud de Viel Castel Named to International Trade Advisory Body by decree signed by French Prime Minister Jean Castex

Chief Operating Officer appointed to key role in global French business advisory organization Lexington, KY (April 15, 2021) — Rubicon®, a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, proudly announced today that the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO),… Keep Reading...

Speaker Series: Rubicon Speaking at Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo

WHO: Conor Riffle, Vice President of Smart Cities at Rubicon (Twitter, LinkedIn) Michael Allegretti, Chief Strategy Officer at Rubicon (Twitter, LinkedIn) WHAT: Accelerating Digital Transformation with Municipal Fleets (Rubicon Panel) Throughout 2020’s public health, economic, social and environmental crises, the last year has demonstrated the… Keep Reading...

Rubicon Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies

Rubicon among top-ranked in the Enterprise category New York, NY (March 9, 2021) — Rubicon® today announced that it has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021. The list honors the businesses that have not only… Keep Reading...