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What’s a garbio?

I am a descendent of garbios, hardscrabble Dutch immigrants who came to dominate the garbage collection and disposal industry in Chicago in the early- to mid-1900s. The origin of the term “garbio” is unclear, but if you are interested you can read about some of these interesting characters in a wonderful book titled, oddly enough, Garbio. It’s out of print now, but you can probably borrow it from your local public library, or find an ebook version. Google it!

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Our use of the “garbio” moniker is less literary and more mundane, perhaps, but we hope it’s a memorable brand name for our software and services aimed at today’s garbage haulers. The garbios of old would undoubtedly be astounded by the technology that has transformed the industry from simple horse and wagon rigs to complex motor vehicles with hydraulic lifts, from shabby labor to logistics and high finance, and from burying trash in a hole on someone’s farm to recycling and the international circular economy.

It’s a different world now, obviously. Today’s information technology can seem far removed from the gritty, earth-bound concerns of managing waste, but it’s now a necessary element of any well-run, profitable waste business. Our Garbio software and services try to bring these two worlds together in a productive way.

We hope our Garbio software and services hark back to the best qualities of the garbios. We dedicate ourselves to complete each day’s work without looking too far ahead, and to deal simply, directly, and honestly with everyone. For us, Garbio means getting a tough job done right, and earning good profits as a natural outcome. Our tongue-in-cheek motto is garbage in, green out. And our mission is to help waste industry businesses grow more valuable.

-Doug Evenhouse

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