In the case of Rubicon Global, 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 within dependent waste haulers on demand, with the goal of cutting costs for customers and reducing landfill.
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.
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 includes Goldman Sachs, Henry Kravis and Leonardo DiCaprio – Mr Morris is preparing to take Rubicon global.