Business

SUEZ partners with ‘Uber of waste’ to digitalise European services

SUEZ Environnement has announced a strategic partnership with a cloud-based waste and recycling company, Rubicon Global, to advance the digitalisation of its recycling and recovery activities on mainland Europe.

The partnership was announced following SUEZ acquisition of a stake in Rubicon after it led the company’s latest funding round, which raised over $50 million (£12.23 million).

SUEZ partners with ‘Uber of waste’ to digitalise European services
Rubicon, referred to by Forbes magazine this month as ‘the Uber of trash’, uses its software to connect waste collectors to waste producers, enabling dispatchers to see which of their vehicles is making the most pickups while letting the clients to see how much residual waste and recycling they are creating and how often they need to use the service.

The company was established by 36-year-old Nate Morris in Kentucky in 2008 and last year was awarded its first municipal contract in Atlanta, after building a network of 5,000 collection businesses, with input from informal taxi service Uber’s founding Chief Technical Officer Oscar Salazar.

A statement released by French firm SUEZ states that it sought the partnership as part of its strategy to apply digital and data solutions for challenges to sustainable waste management practices and to provide new digital services.

The partnership will see collaboration on technology and data, moving forward with the development and deployment of Rubicon’s range of mobile apps, customer portal and cloud-based hauler management system on the European and US markets.

Morris, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rubicon Global, added: “This is a new day for the global waste and recycling industry and an extraordinary opportunity to change the world.

“Waste is an issue that affects every single person living on the planet. Through technology and innovation, we can make it less expensive and more responsible, and this partnership with SUEZ will help us do just that.”

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, a subsidiary of the firm, is one of the biggest waste management companies in the UK, meaning these solutions could soon be deployed in the UK, though when approached by Resource the company could not confirm whether this was the case.

Rubicon says its technology will be used in SUEZ’s fleet of vehicles to modernise its collection business and to advance the digital transformation of its Recycling & Recovery Division by improving its customer portal and digital platforms for the optimization of the collection of small, dispersed quantities of waste.

Furthermore, the partnership will seek to improve services for local authorities through smart city innovation, and by using data collection and analysis to help local councils to improve their waste and recycling services and optimise their fleets.

Below: Jean-Marc Boursier, SUEZ’s Group Senior Executive VP in charge of Recycling & Recovery in Europe explains the partnership in a video for SUEZ

Towards a digital revolution?

Commenting on the new partnership, Boursier said: “SUEZ is developing its offer to propose disruptive models and solutions in response to its customers’ needs and in favour of the circular economy.

“We are proud that Rubicon Global has become one of our expert partners. Together, we will add a new dimension to waste management both sides of the Atlantic that is ever more digital and efficient, for a sustainable protection of resources.”

Morris added: “With their international reach, incredible longevity as a company, and commitment to innovation and a sustainable future, SUEZ is a perfect strategic partner for Rubicon.”

More information about Rubicon Global is available on its website.

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