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How to Turn Recycling Dumpsters into Net Operating Income

At Downstream, we’re a marketplace application that connects those who need recycling services with those who want to provide those services. We’re the go-between, the middleman, if you will, who handles all of the technological logistics on the back-end and coordinates services.

How to Turn Recycling Dumpsters into Net Operating Income

We believe that a zero-waste, sustainable world is possible through the application of technology in new and exciting ways. Today, more waste management businesses are leveraging the power of the cloud, smart dumpsters, and RFID technology to improve service quality and lower overhead costs across the board.  

Honestly, there’s never been a better time to introduce our Downstream app because it’s such a unique offering. Think of us as the “DoorDash” of waste pick-up and recycling, yet there’s more to our business model than doing favors for a modest fee. In short, we genuinely care about making our world better, cleaner, and more environmentally sustainable than ever before.  It’s undoubtedly a high commitment, but we’re ready for the long haul.  So, to give you an idea of what we do best, here’s how our app and additional services work together to bring our vision of a zero-waste world to fruition. 

Introducing Downstream platform for recycling

At Downstream, we’re a marketplace application that connects those who need recycling services with those who want to provide those services. We’re the go-between, the middleman, if you will, who handles all of the technological logistics on the back-end and coordinates services.    

This business model allows us the flexibility we need to design new cloud-based mobile technologies and apply them in novel ways to the waste management industry.   We decided to go this route because we want to serve both sides of the market and genuinely champion our commitment to zero waste. We believe it is possible if we all come together and make zero-waste management apriority.  

"We want to serve both sides of the market."

In a nutshell, our software solves the primary pain point: lower the cost of waste management through the intelligent use of smart technologies, ultimately leading to zero waste since services will be more affordable and widely available.  

How does our app work for recyclers?

We allow businesses with their own recycling dumpsters to sell their extra dumpster space through our mobile app with respect to recycling. After that, the customers of said business can drop off recyclable materials when visiting the location, and a collector will do the rest.   Without a doubt, our platform excels at connecting waste management companies with new customers, whether it’s an individual or a large business; hauling and disposal drop-off services for recyclable materials is just one of many capabilities we have in our toolkit.   But we dedicated a significant portion of our technology to help sellers and scrappers increase revenue too.   At Downstream, we’re not the typical waste management platform because we enable companies to promote their services on our app without interfering with their branding or operations.   As a matter of fact, our technology does the exact opposite and strengthens brands while streamlining operations instead of hindering them. 

How does Downstream work for merchants, sellers, and scrappers?

The bottom line is this: businesses don’t recycle because it’s too expensive to do it the old-fashioned way. Not everyone resides in a city that believes in environmental sustainability and offers free recycling pick-up. In many parts of the country, the expense falls directly on the shoulders of business owners, so many don’t bother to recycle at all. According to the latest data published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American citizen can produce about 5 pounds of trash and waste per day.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that not much makes it to the recycling bin, especially if it costs too much to haul away. Most of us don’t give a second thought to recycling, yet there’s been a significant shift in recent years: a renewed emphasis on corporate sustainability and green living. That opens up a tremendous opportunity to make genuine progress in how we manage waste and recyclable materials! Business-wise, it’s an entirely noneconomic opportunity that’s only getting more viable by the year. For instance, at the time of this writing, recycling collection companies employed roughly 32,000 people in the U.S. in as many as 9,247 different establishments across the country. Those numbers are impressive, but keep in mind that they’re only the figures about the recycling collection sector. Nationally, about 1.1 million people work in the recycling industry, including industrial-grade recyclers that work directly with manufacturers.  

That said, when you choose to work with us and sell your recycling pick-up services on Downstream app, you’ll be tapping into this fast-expanding market, which is only growing and will continue to do so over the foreseeable future.   Besides, our platform works best for merchantlike waste haulers, junk haulers, porta-potty haulers, individuals, and scrappers too.   We can also accommodate other types of sellers in the same app, so that’s what makes our solution unique in the waste management industry. Few recycling companies use this level of tech in their services – or share our commitment to doing what’s right.   Usually, a scrap metal dealer doesn't have access to top-end, cloud-based technology; the entire business is coordinated manually with the snail-mail process.   But with Downstream app, scrap dealers will have a powerful software-as-a-service tool at their disposal that’s also a marketplace right in the palm of their hand.  

We connect recycling collectors to customers and provide the technology and marketplace to do so.   Best of all, we also offer a logistical support system for the delivery and collection of dumpsters and at-home collections, allowing waste haulers to sell their services to a broader pool of prospects.  While plugging into a network of delivery drivers, sellers can also utilize our container-shared drop-off locations at any business that works with our platform.

Benefits of using Downstream for recyclables

Simply put, we found a way to leverage existing innovative technologies liker RFID and make an entirely new system out of them, especially leaning on a cloud-based architecture.   We’re a full-service marketing and logistics platform for sellers and scrappers that consolidates traditionally tedious processes into one software.   So, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect if you’re a merchant.  

Enables dynamic routing capabilities

The software Downstream Scrap gives companies the ability to route pick-ups and drop-offs with geofence technology.   The platform also allows you to post your worker’s schedules and automatically assign tasks to specific employees, which may or may not be a scrapper. That’s the beauty of our platform; you don’t have to limit yourself to one kind of recycling service.  

Empowers you to work harder on customer service, not on paperwork

At Downstream, our app contains a built-in payment and ordering system that creates a smooth, uninterrupted user experience. With our app, you can manage an entire fleet of drivers and crews with one system. There’s also no need to deploy analytics because we build reports for you in the app and use that information to showcase your success to potential customers. 

Accommodates surge pricing

With Downstream app, you can easily raise rates based on peak hours or if you perform services during stormy weather. Depending on which market you serve,you can also adjust surge pricing based on the time of day and where the job is actually located. The app can even compile data to build custom reports about how to optimize operations. Altogether, our platform’s end game for merchants who ply their trade through our app.  

Allows faster online booking

Additionally, our platform can easily set up an online booking service and give you the capability to promote your services by sharing a standard web link.  When customers click on your link, they’ll be routed to your Downstream Storefront to set an appointment or order services right away. It’s an easy way to increase the volume of your orders and convert way more customers without cobbling together software to make one system.  

Know your WasteIQ

Another feature we designed is WasteIQ, which is an indication of how well you’re performing. We discovered that customers feel more comfortable buying waste management services online when they can read reviews from former customers during our initial developmental phases.   With WasteIQ, you can show them how your company outperforms the competition by leaps and bounds.  

Promote services and increase net operating income

On the one hand, our software works fantastic as a logistics and payment tool, but that's not all it can do for you! Directly from the mobile app, you can launch promotional deals to attract new customers.   We give you the opportunity to give out special promo codes, referrals, and even customer loyalty rewards –all of which help attract new business and increase conversions substantially.  Still, we often get questions about how our technology actually works behind the scenes, so here are the basics.  

"All of which help attract new business and increase conversions"

How does our technology work behind the scenes?

Behind the scenes, our technology works by digitizing recycling bins in a few ways to build a holistic system. We utilize both RFID tags and QR codes to help you determine which containers are your responsibility. Each bin has a unique code that coincides with our back-end servers to provide geolocation data as well as when the container needs to be picked up and hauled away. The amount of time and effort both of these capabilities save is an incredible advantage for those who know how to leverage it. In combination with dynamic routing, digitizing recycling bins makes it easier to see how to optimize delivery and pick up routes down to the minute.  Indeed, the platform is every bit as powerful as an app like DoorDash. Only we took a general idea and added more capabilities. Everyone is on the same page with our platform – and with real-time updates. Customers, merchants, and drivers will all be working from the same application; there’s no need to juggle scheduling apps and hoping for the best.  

How can our platform lead to a zero-waste world?

Up until this point, we’ve gone over plenty of information about what our app does, why it’s helpful, and how it works, but we’re more than that at Downstream. We want to make an impact, and we invite you to join us! If there’s one thing holding back the recycling industry, it’s a lack of innovation. The old business models no longer apply because the market for low-quality recyclables has dried up in recent years.  


Nowadays, it costs more to haul away waste and recyclables because the market has changed, particularly the demand for plastic recyclables. It used to be that municipalities could actually profit from their recycling programs; now, it's just another cost and an expense that’s only going up.   That said, the marketplace app we developed is the ideal solution to a market that’s already changing quickly.   To get to a zero-waste, fully sustainable world, people have to have access to affordable recycling services without raising their cost of living. It’s true that many cities across the U.S. are funding their own waste management technology, but we believe our platform already does the job.  As more people begin to see the benefits of less waste, we want to be at the forefront of lasting change.  

By using our app, an entire city could reinvent its waste management infrastructure and slash costs like no other because there won’t be a need to design a system from scratch.  Without a doubt, it’ll take all of us to get to a zero-waste world, but we’re here to help the recycling industry find a new path by leveraging mobile technology in new ways.

Zachary Irwin
Verified writer

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