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Looking to Become Part of the Gig Economy?

08/08/2017

New York-based Recycle Track Systems (RTS) and Rubicon Global, based in Atlanta, want to change the garbage-hauling business. It's a $50 billion-plus business here in the U.S. They hope to make use of your cell phone, by making it simple for customers to schedule on-demand garbage pickups through a phone app that includes notifications about when a truck has arrived and reports about exactly where their waste is being sent -- the ultimate for those concerned about sustainability. 

While it might not sound as exciting as other app-based on-demand services like Uber or Instacart, WeWork, Whole Foods and SoulCycle have already signed multiyear contracts for RTS' flexible pricing options. 

Much like the Uber model, RTS doesn’t own vehicles. Instead it partners with midsize independent haulers. It gives the drivers a tablet that makes their business operations more efficient. Certainly it's a lot cheaper investment than buying garbage trucks that cost around $250,000 each and get about 2 miles per gallon. 

TechCrunch interviewed the co-founder and CEO, Gregory Lettieri, who said that the service “matters a lot to high-sustainability customers, who want to know that their efforts to separate out food waste [aren't a squandered effort]. They can now see that an organic truck picked up their material and took it to a waste energy facility or to a farm, and we can provide real numbers, not estimates.” 

And there's another revenue source beyond charging companies for pickup. He says that “because we’re able to separate out and track what’s on these trucks, we can turn that material into additional revenue. There’s a $90 billion secondary market for commodities like plastic and cardboard that are taken in big quantities and then sold to [specific] markets in the U.S. and Asia.” It has already raised over $11 million in venture capital funding.