• Reading time:5 mins read

Welcome to the Haul of Fame, an interview series from Rubicon® in which we sit down with a hauler partner to talk about their company, their community, and how they’re collaborating with Rubicon in our mission to end waste.

Independent Recycling Services (IRS), headquartered in Chicago, is a waste and recycling hauler operating 50 trucks that offers roll-off, rear-load, and lugger box service throughout the Chicagoland area. Founded in 1976, IRS is a third-generation hauler that has been working with Rubicon for more than ten years.

Independent Recycling Services’ Operations Manager, Jacques Camalick, sat down with Rubicon to talk about the company and its mission for the Haul of Fame.

How does Rubicon’s mission to end waste match-up to Independent Recycling Services’ own company mission?

Independent Recycling Services: Independent Recycling Services has always been very recycling driven. We own and operate four recycling facilities across the Chicagoland area and divert as much recyclable material as possible to these sites in an attempt to keep that material out of the landfill. In addition, we have great waste and recycling partners across our service territory that operate similar facilities, so that if some of our material ends up there, it can be repurposed.

How does Independent Recycling Services differentiate itself from its competitors?

IRS: We pride ourselves on great customer service and dependability. Being family owned and operated, we treat all of our customers like family, no matter the size of the account. When you dial our line, you will always get a dedicated IRS team member on the other end as opposed to a call center. I believe that goes a long way in building relationships and providing the level of service our customers expect from us. We believe our experienced staff of drivers are the best in the industry. Their dedication to the job, dependability, and professionalism truly makes IRS one of the premier waste and recycling haulers in the Chicagoland area.

What is the view of Independent Recycling Services when it comes to participating in the circular economy and helping build a more sustainable future?

IRS: During the 1970s, the waste industry as a whole failed to see the benefit of combining recycling and waste hauling services. It was during this period that Independent’s founder, Frank Ward Sr., decided to take advantage of this unrealized opportunity, establishing the company as the first waste hauler in the Chicagoland area to service both waste and recycling. This resulted in the creation of multiple material recovery facilities that sorted and separated recyclable material from the waste stream. Frank’s ingenuity had a major impact on the waste and recycling industry as we see it today, and IRS continues to expand its recycling programs to build a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

What do you love most about the community in which you work, and the customers you serve?

IRS: We love the relationship aspect of this business and our customer base. Without the continued loyalty and support from our customers, we would not be where we are today, so hats off to them for sticking with us through thick and thin.

Where does Independent Recycling Services see itself five years from now?

IRS: Right here on Laflin Street! The possibilities are endless with the foundation we have built over the years with our amazing team. Building on our current footprint and expanding into other markets is definitely something we plan to achieve in the near future.

RUBICONSelect™ empowers independent haulers to leverage their relationship with Rubicon to receive exclusive deals on business resources from brand name vendors. If you would like to learn more about the program’s full range of offers and discounts, please take a look at the RUBICONSelect website, or reach out to christopher.watts@rubicon.com.


Chris Watts is Sr. Director of Innovation and Hauler Relations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.



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