> RecycleSmart

Get Better At Garbage, Rock The Recycling and Save Some Serious Dough

When RecycleSmart was founded the seed that started the company was “There must be a better way”. This concept of constantly innovating and searching for more efficient, frictionless, and transparent ways of managing waste and recycling for businesses across Canada has continued to drive the business more than a decade later. Unlike the slew of companies innovating in trendy areas such as blockchain and big data, RecycleSmart is focused on the decidedly untrendy area of waste and recycling services. Long deemed a smelly, messy industry that largely operates out of sight and mind this essential service has proved ripe for innovation for one of Canada’s fastest growing companies.

“I have a philosophy that innovation is often overlooked in certain areas of society because it’s just off the radar of most people”

- Co-founder Colin Bell

“I have a philosophy that innovation is often overlooked in certain areas of society because it’s just off the radar of most people” explains co-founder Colin Bell. He calls this concept of finding opportunities where others don’t see opportunity as  “Looking Under Bridges”, alluding to the fact that the area under bridges is often a hidden, overlooked area in many urban environments. “When you look under bridges you often find interesting areas – hidden parks, quirky people, or just a place that most people never go”. RecycleSmart has taken that same approach, innovating in an industry that is often passed over when innovators look for an industry
to disrupt.

The business dynamic of RecycleSmart is unique in that the 3 partners share very different backgrounds that combine to create a powerhouse.

The co-founders, Jaclyn McPhadden and Colin Bell bring a combination of business acumen, project management and a passion for applying technology to solve real-world problems. A few years after founding RecycleSmart they realized that the one aspect they were lacking was deep industry experience, having never driven a garbage truck or operated a waste hauling company lacked that “on the ground” industry-specific perspective. Enter Graeme Dobinson who partnered with the then-fledgling company in 2013. Dobinson brought decades of experience in the waste industry including a stint founding and running one of Western Canada’s fastest-growing waste and recycling companies in Calgary. After selling the hauling business in 2009 Dobinson had the itch to stay in the waste industry but in a different manner. “I knew there was tremendous opportunity to do things differently, better, and smarter in this industry but I didn’t want to go back to the traditional model of trucks, drivers, and bins” says Dobinson. When he came upon the technology-enabled business model that RecycleSmart was developing he saw that the young company had a unique approach to this age-old industry.

RecycleSmart can be defined as a technology-enabled service provider of waste and recycling services to mid to large size Canadian enterprises who are looking to improve their waste and recycling programs. RecycleSmart does not own trucks or bins but instead subcontracts services to a network of over 500 vendors that provide services at over 8000 client sites across Canada. With this vendor network RecycleSmart can provide a wide range of services that is unequalled by any traditional environmental services provider, everything from cardboard to hazardous waste is handled by RecycleSmart in a streamlined manner with one centralized point of contact for customer service and invoicing. “I often explain the concept as the Priceline or Expedia of waste and recycling, we act as a platform to streamline the purchasing and management of waste and recycling services for businesses within a technology platform” explains co-founder Colin Bell.

RecycleSmart has long been an industry pioneer in the area of “Internet of Things” or IOT devices.  RecycleSmart operates an extensive network of small, battery powered container sensor devices that feed data back to RecycleSmart’s team of self proclaimed “Waste Wizards”. Data such as container fill levels and images of what materials customers are placing in recycling bins are transmitted in real time which provides powerful data on which containers need adjustments in terms of service levels or recycling programs. This data is analyzed to ensure that containers are being collected when full, so customers aren’t being billed for unnecessary service or in industry lingo “dumping air”.

RecycleSmart provides a platform for businesses to purchase, manage, measure and monitor their waste and recycling services across Canada. If you’re a business that wants to spend more time doing whatever you do best and less time dealing with waste and recycling, call Canada’s Waste Wizards.

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