A New York City-based waste management company is integrating technology to give its customers a more detailed, transparent look into their waste streams. Founded in 2017, Curbside Inc. initially planned to build an internal cloud-based system that would collect and analyze data that typically was not being captured.
“The idea of this was to make sure we were understanding the waste stream and finding efficiencies for our clients,” says Michael Marmo, founder and president of Curbside Inc. “We have a fully proprietary enterprise system that allows us to take orders, dispatch trucks and get live information as it's happening.”
Since that time, Curbside has added features such as sustainability and material analysis, GPS integrations, iOS and billing autonomy to its new customer portal.
“These data points allow us to create high-level reports for our clients at the click of a button. From there, we began to introduce client-facing products such as an ‘Uber-style’ live ETA [estimated time of arrival] share,” says Marmo. “We are currently beta testing a customer portal for all of our clients to pull reports on demand as well as online ordering.”
Marmo says Curbside is able to capture data that most waste companies cannot.
“An example of this would be better routing to keep our prices down or analyzing waste streams to find different diversion options. We also value transparency and make all of this information accessible to our clients,” he says.
The type of information available to customers includes timestamps on every interaction via tablets in Curbside vehicles for the customer to know when the truck left, when it arrived and when the service was completed. The company also requires drivers to take images of each container for further accountability, in addition to collecting trucking costs, dump costs and overall jobsite expenses.
“With our new customer portal, all of this data will be accessible via our website,” says Marmo. “The client can login and pull any kind of reports they may need and have full transparency. It will also allow them to place orders and watch the order process from beginning to end in real time.”
Claudette Maceira, project administrator for Volmar Construction Inc. in Brooklyn, N.Y., says her company has been working with Curbside for a few years for its construction waste needs.
“The benefits of using the Curbside technology is an endless list,” she says. “One of the many features I have become accustomed to is how you can track your container delivery live. This helps with coordination of deliveries and making sure we are ready for the new container. It minimizes time for our labor force and helps us streamline the process. Most importantly, it helps save us money.”
The other feature that has helped Volmar is the ability to see what sites have containers, what sizes they are and how easy it is to schedule for exchange or removal.
“I don’t have to wait to speak with someone on the phone. Everything is so transparent. The container ordering and swapping has become just an easy task now,” says Maceira.
Before adopting the Curbside technology, Volmar was ordering and scheduling containers by phone.
“We sometimes have difficulty getting information, whether it be time lag or they don't have the information,” says Maceira. “With Curbside, we can request information and receive it on demand in an easy-to-understand format. This includes things like sustainability metrics, operational inquiries and cost analysis.”
Curbside’s goal is to create an autonomous waste experience.
“Waste is a crucial part of people's day-to-day lives, and it's extremely important to us that we understand it,” says Marmo. “I believe the only way to do this is to provide the service and understand the nuances of picking up waste. On top of that, it allows us to test new processes and learn how the consumer interacts tangibly. Overall, the main focus is collecting data and using that data to create a more efficient and sustainable experience.”