Rubicon Global, an international cloud-based, full-service waste and recycling company focused on sustainability, has been dubbed the “Uber of Trash.” But as of late, the company has faced a number of different operational, legal and financial challenges.
In this article, Bloomberg provides an inside look at the company’s operations, goals and challenges.
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Last month, an Atlanta-based company called Rubicon Global announced its entry into the rarefied “unicorn club” of startups worth more than $1 billion. Rubicon is not an obvious candidate—it’s in the gritty business of waste disposal. Then again, it’s not a typical garbage company. It has raised about $200 million, and its investors include Leonardo DiCaprio and Salesforce.com Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff. Rubicon’s co-founder and CEO, 36-year-old Nate Morris, has referred to the company’s service, which connects independent trash haulers with businesses that need their dumpsters emptied, as the “Uber of Trash.”
Garbage, a $60 billion industry, has traditionally been low-tech. According to Morris, the three companies that dominate—Waste Management Inc., Republic Services Inc., and Waste Connections US Inc.—have no interest in changing this because of their vested interest in the status quo. Morris has said that like Uber, Rubicon is building a tech platform that will break the stranglehold of the incumbents, save customers money and make it easier for drivers to make a living. And it’ll lead to more recycling.