Inc.: How This $500 Million Company Empowers Trash Startups

The garbage industry is one that has yet to see major disruption. But one waste hauling startup, Rubicon Global, is rolling out a suite of tools to help independent haulers compete against big corporations.

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Jimmy Contreras has started three waste hauling companies. His most recent is called RJ Waste Recovery, which he co-founded with his wife, Ruth. Based in Charlotte, N.C., Contreras hopes the startup will help businesses cut their costs and recycle more.

“It’s called an addiction–once you get garbage in your blood,” says Contreras. His biggest challenge is winning clients in an industry that has long been dominated by companies like Waste Management and Republic Services, which have a combined market share of nearly 40 percent, according to data from IBIS World. Contreras, by contrast, employs 50 contract workers and counts roughly 200 accounts across North Carolina and parts of South Carolina.

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