An entrepreneur who sold his house to help fund a new Manchester-based tech business says he has ambitions to be the ‘Uber of the waste industry’.
Joe Rogers is behind Manchester-based Bukkawaste, which he set up in hopes to revolutionise the way people manage household waste.
The free app allows a user to book, schedule and pay for a private waste collection service – rather than rely on their local council.
Launched in late 2017, the app is already available for iOS and Android devices and is gaining popularity among users in Manchester.
“A lot of councils up and down the UK have now reduced the times they collect the general waste from every week to every two weeks – some have gone to every four weeks – so the initial idea was to fill that void basically,” Rogers told BusinessCloud.
“Our app will connect people and make it easier to communicate without having to speak to someone on the phone. It’ll just make everything seamless and allow someone to have their waste collected with one click of a button.”
Prior to venturing out on his own, Rogers was operations director at a family-owned waste management business, which was set up in 2008 and has since grown to £14m turnover operating in Greater Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, Southport and Liverpool.
“I’ve worked in the waste industry for 10 years and we’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of businesses come and go,” Rogers said.
“There are a lot of start-up businesses now that are doing the same as I’m doing but they haven’t got the technology behind them, so they’re basically just using phone numbers or Facebook pages to promote their services.
“I just thought: there must be a better way of doing this.”
Although technology has disrupted countless sectors, Rogers believes that the waste management industry has been lagging behind.
“Six years ago you couldn’t use an app to order a takeaway or a taxi – everything is going digital and I just think it’s about time that somebody brought the waste industry up to speed,” he said.
“I’d like to be as big as Uber, or Just Eat or Lyft, the big players. I’d like to be a household brand name and a business brand name.”