You can get almost anything to show up at your door in Philadelphia these days. A driver, junk food, gourmet ramen, a dog walker or a snow plow are all available a just a few taps on your smartphone. Recycle Track Systems, a so-called “Uber for trash,” recently opened an office in Philadelphia with the hope of collecting more of Philly’s trash, and getting rid of it in a smarter way.
RTS has an app that people use to call and track trucks to their offices or homes. But that’s not all where the company’s tech ends. RTS has a heavy emphasis on sustainability, and uses its technology to improve trash collection and recycling.
“It’s not an industry with a lot of tech development and we’ve created that tech specifically for the industry,” said company cofounder Greg Lettieri.
Lettieri points to the name of the company to show what it does differently, literally tracking the recycling stream.
“Every piece of the lifecycle of the recycling process is watched,” he said. “That means that container goes into the appropriate loading dock, it’s picked up by the appropriate truck and that appropriate truck brings it to the right facility.”
RTS doesn’t own the trucks, but contracts with licensed companies in the cities it serves. Late last year, the company expanded to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and brought on 10 new employees to train company contractors in sustainability.
The company’s origin story revolves around friends Lettieri, who brings the tech background, and Adam Pasquale, whose family has been in the waste management business for decades, having a few beers while watching the World Cup in 2014 and combining their skills to create the company.
The two quit their jobs and launched with Whole Foods as one of their first contracts. From there, they’ve taken on major companies like WeWork and Soulcycle and expanded to D.C. and Philadelphia at the end of last year. In Philadelphia, they also count the data center at 401 N Broad St. as a client.
2017 was a big year for the company. On top of the expansion to new cities, it raised nearly $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Boston-based growth equity firm Volition Capital. It was also certified as a B-Corp.
The company has big plans for 2018. In Philadelphia, they plan to target large commercial buildings, arenas and museums. The company is focused on businesses, but is available to the average user too.
“Hopefully in 2018,” said Lettieri, “you’ll see as more of a staple of the vocabulary when it comes to this industry.”
If your neighbors got too rowdy after the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade, for instance, Lettieri says he wants everybody in Philly to know RTS is there for you.
“Absolutely, download the app and let us know what you need,” he plugged.
-Brian Drew| Technical.ly Philly