Data-Driven Waste Management Platform RoadRunner Raises $ 70 Million

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RoadRunner Recycling, a data-driven waste management platform that helps businesses divert waste from landfills, has raised $ 70 million in General Atlantic Series D funding round new climate investment firm Beyond NetZero.

the global climate catastrophe represents a major dilemma for companies across the industrial spectrum, as companies increasingly come under pressure and scrutiny to manage their environmental impact. But achieving this is often easier said than done, especially for large companies that operate across multiple sites, vendors, and systems. This is a problem RoadRunner is working to solve.

“We’re solving the operational inefficiencies that most often accompany traditional waste and recycling management in large organizations,” RoadRunner Founder and CEO Graham Rihn told VentureBeat. “Companies typically lack the time and resources to appropriately manage the day-to-day recycling and waste management operations for their portfolio, making it virtually impossible to recognize opportunities to cut expenses and advance ESG efforts. (environment, social and governance). “

Big Data Information

Companies like multinational manufacturer Avery Dennison use RoadRunner to manage their daily waste and recycling programs. Based on machine learning, the RoadRunner platform can predict the volumes of materials generated by different industries and which containers will most efficiently organize the estimated waste for recycling.

In terms of type data that RoadRunner feeds into its ML algorithms, this includes everything from volume, industry type and location data, to customer proximity to other parties (e.g. customers, recycling points , landfills).

“We have built prediction models that recommend the most effective outcome for each customer in terms of reducing costs and increasing recycling as part of their waste management program,” explained Rihn. “Our recommendations are tailored to each customer location, but are designed and automated to scale nationwide across a number of locations. “

As with any good machine learning algorithm, RoadRunner claims to improve over time as more data is added to the mix, so it can compare current and historical results to make better recommendations.

In addition, RoadRunner can also create custom routes for partner transport partners, so that materials that need to be collected and recycled are transported in the most efficient way – this is designed to encourage companies to recycle while reducing costs. Thus, clean and fully segregated (i.e. uncontaminated) materials will be collected by the nearest drivers and dropped off at the nearest recycling facility.

“This method allows RoadRunner to operate as a lightweight organization – we don’t own any trucks – and bypass the environmental and monetary costs of the traditional waste hauling process,” Rihn added.

Above: Roadrunner driver’s view

So what, exactly, is RoadRunner up against? What are the historical solutions that it seeks to replace?

“Before RoadRunner, a company contracted with a solid waste management company where about 95% of its materials went to landfill, due to inefficiencies in traditional transportation and material separation, which means the customer experience legacy is offline, “explained Rihn.” When the company signs with RoadRunner, we become its materials management partner, integrating existing solid waste management companies while implementing flexible recycling options customized for adapt to their business. ”

Founded in Pittsburgh, Pa., In 2014, RoadRunner had already raised around $ 60 million, and with an additional $ 70 million in the bank, the company is well-funded to capitalize on growing demand for technologies that help businesses reduce their waste – with data serving as a common thread. For example, last month, carbon management firm Sweep raised $ 22 million in funding, with the aim of enabling large companies to reduce their carbon footprint through big data insights.

“We believe this next stage of growth will put RoadRunner on the right track to realize its vision of propelling the entire waste industry towards lasting change that protects our planet and our future,” said Rihn.

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