Rubicon Global, a company helping businesses save money on trash and recycling, is expanding into the healthcare industry.
Rubicon connects businesses with local garbage haulers through an online bidding process and and helps them find opportunities to save money, for example by doing more recycling.
Co-founder and CEO Nate Morris sees big potential in bringing this approach to the healthcare industry, which reportedly spends $10 billion on waste disposal. Explaining how Rubicon moves into a new market, he said, “We surround ourselves with expertise, which is highly unusual for our industry.”
He argued that waste management companies normally take a “one size fits all approach,” while Rubicon combines technology (it recently hired its first CTO) with “white glove treatment.” He added, “We’ve tried to align ourselves with the best and brightest of each vertical, each industry we serve.”
In this case, it hired J. Michael Jones last year to be its director of medical sustainability. Jones has spent his career in the healthcare industry, most recently serving corporate director of clinical education and sustainability at the HealthTrust Purchasing Group.
Jones argued that the Rubicon Global model should fit the healthcare industry nicely, particularly since “the vast majority of what’s coming out of a hospital” isn’t that different from the waste at any commercial business. At the same time, he said, hospitals are becoming more data-driven (“everything they do is measured”) in every area except for waste disposal, where they’re “still using an antiquated model to dig a hole, fill it up and repeat.”
“Hospitals as a general rule don’t have any idea, other than a bottom line number, about what they’re spending on trash,” he said.