UPDATED 12:05 EST / JANUARY 07 2022

AI

Smart recycling firm RoadRunner raises $70M in new funding

RoadRunner Recycling Inc., a recycling firm that uses machine learning algorithms to assist businesses with waste management, today announced it has raised $70 million in a Series D funding round from General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero, a climate-focused investment venture.

Waste management can be a particular concern for businesses, especially given increasing regulations regarding climate change and environmental impact. All operations produce waste daily and much of that must be piled onto trucks that then must be transported to landfills. That’s expensive and bad for the environment.

RoadRunner’s value proposition is to use machine learning to predict the volume of different materials generated by different industries to categorize most efficiently what can be diverted away from landfills into recycling streams and urban logistics to create efficient routes for hauling.

To date, RoadRunner has diverted more than 200,000 tons of waste from landfills across more than 8,000 locations and in the process saved in excess of $50 million on waste and recycling using its platform.

According to RoadRunner’s Chief Executive Graham Rihn, the global waste management industry has stagnated for years and missed numerous environmental benchmarks. Many of today’s businesses are now looking into sustainable, environmentally friendly practices and discovering that these processes can also affect their bottom line positively.

“There is a lot of opportunity for growth,” said Rihn. “Oftentimes, waste — and the mismanagement of it — can be an issue that flies under the radar for companies. But with the $80 billion industry reaching a tipping point from lack of innovation for decades, we’re here to show folks there is a better, more efficient way to manage materials and divert waste from landfills.”

By contracting with local haulers with schedule gaps, who drive smaller, more efficient vehicles, the company can pick up and move recyclable materials sooner and faster than other waste management companies. It also uses data-driven logistics for efficient routes to make certain that pickups are done.

RoadRunner offers a number of services including waste services and recycling. Recycled materials include cardboard, paper and mixed materials such as metal cans, plastic bottles and glass. The company also provides a food composting service to interested organizations such as restaurants and grocery stores, which discard large amounts of organic waste.

The company will use the new funding to further develop its machine-learning and recycling marketplace technology, drive national expansion and support its operations across more than 40 U.S. cities.

Photo: RoadRunner Recycling

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