CDRA Member Spotlight: Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley, CEO of 5280 Waste Solutions and Starlight Software Solutions in Denver, Colorado

Bill Bradley

What materials do you recycle? Can you describe the volume and types of incoming materials you process?

We have a family of companies based in Denver, Colorado. 5280 Waste Solutions is the largest independently owned roll-off company in the Rockies that provides hauling services for C&D, industrial, and municipal waste and recycling. 5280 Recycling Solutions develops end market solutions, recycling collection and processing systems. Starlight Software Solutions is an integrated suite of mobile and enterprise applications that revolutionize the waste hauling and transportation industries.

Our hauling company, 5280 Waste Solutions, operates 34 trucks in Denver and eight trucks in Oklahoma, hauling more than 350,000 tons of material each year. 5280 Recycling Solutions currently provides recycling management services to municipalities, manufacturers, and has developed an end market solution for post-consumer drywall called Gyptek that is going into product production in the fall of this year. Starlight Software Solutions makes all of this possible with both 5280 companies and 50+ additional companies in the U.S. by providing real-time, end-to-end operations, live connection to customers, and complete control of assets and management of the business process.

How did you get started in the business?

I purchased a small roll-off company in 2012 with eight trucks and 300 containers and branded it 5280 Waste Solutions. (Fun fact: There are 5,280 feet in a mile and Denver is the mile high city!)

As 5280 Waste Solutions grew, I searched for a software solution and found nothing dedicated to roll-off. Being a software guy by profession, I decided to develop my own software solution that would solve for profitability and efficiency issues in roll-off. Along the way, I also realized that all the material that was being hauled had value and should be recycled. So, I created 5280 Recycling Solutions to create market solutions and recycling systems to help divert material and create circular economy solutions.

What are the biggest challenges in your market and C&D recycling?

The biggest challenges in Denver are low landfill tipping fees and a lack of policy to encourage or require C&D recycling. Our landfill fees are some of the lowest in the U.S. Denver is also a geographic island that is challenged with transportation issues in moving material out of the state to market.  

Where are the biggest opportunities?

The biggest opportunities are in tracking and managing data on material hauled and recycled and creating end market solutions for materials. There is a lack of good data to inform the developments needed to increase recycling and diversion. Data is also needed to validate funding and the need for policy. Without end markets, recycling comes to halt. We need to continue to create solutions where there are not any.  

How long have you been a member of the CDRA?

We joined the CDRA in 2018. 

What inspired you to join the CDRA?

We joined the CDRA to be on the leading edge of C&D recycling innovation and solutions. We wanted an opportunity to collaborate with other haulers and recyclers across the country and work together to advance recycling.

What do you find most rewarding about working in this industry?

The people we meet and work with and the opportunity to forge new paths. Trash will only increase and every day we have an opportunity for a win by keeping one more ton out of the landfill and in the economy. We also can revolutionize the waste and recycling industries through formalizing data collection and maximizing efficiencies and profit.

What challenges have you faced over the years and how have you overcome them?  

Having the right tools to be successful in C&D hauling and recycling. I am overcoming it for myself and for others with the development of Starlight.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I am a self-taught master gardener and I majored in Philosophy, not Business.

How do you think the industry is changing and what trends do you see coming up on the horizon? 

I think the industry is becoming more formalized. The roll-off hauling industry used to be managed with hand-written routes and post-it notes on a wall. Today, we are managing routes and data in real-time, and we can track materials from generation through recovery and back into the marketplace.

What advice would you give to someone interested in this industry?

This business is not for the faint of heart. It seems simple but is complex and takes resiliency and dedication to finding solutions daily. Once you get in, you will never want to leave.  

Best piece of business advice you have gotten or learned over the years?

It’s all about the people, and all about your partners.


Would you like to have your company in a spotlight like this? Contact CDRA Executive Director William Turley at [email protected] or 630-258-9047.

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