WAUKEGAN, Ill. — Rich Katz owns TKG Environmental with his brother.
"What we have found in the waste business is, it's very, it's old. People who've been in the business for a lot of years have done things the same way for a lot of years, and it hasn't evolved," said Katz.
The two brothers bought the waste management company about a decade ago, and they say it's been painful dragging the business into modern times.
"When we bought, you know, we bought a company, they were keeping it with index cards—box after box. So we were looking through boxes of index cards with clients' information. I mean, the box gets lost. You've just lost all your boxes of clients," said Katz.
As Katz looked into more ways to advance things, he met Mike Marmo.
"I think there was a tremendous need and that COVID accelerated it," said Marmo.
So he founded a waste management company that built software to let customers and waste companies communicate.
If you're at home waiting for trash pick up, you can watch live updates on your phone and even get live updates as the drivers approach it. His customers, including some cities, love it because it provides more efficient routing, and the software can learn best practices over time.
"It's an operational management tool. It does order taking, dispatching automated billing, reporting, customer portals, IOS and Android driver apps," said Marmo.
They are in eight states and looking to expand fully nationally within the year.
Marmo says the more companies that use CurbWaste, the more information the company will gather to create a more environmentally friendly industry.
"Once you actually know what's going on, boots on the ground, you can start implementing initiatives, and these initiates are built off real data points," said Marmo.
Information is a powerful tool for people like Rich who want to make sure they're doing everything to create a cleaner world.
"Preserving tomorrow. Anyway, we can help tomorrow. It's better for my kids and better for their kids," said Katz.