Would your business like to have 2500 individual customers you see on a daily basis and expect to grow on a yearly basis? I had the opportunity to visit with a company that does just that. With some exceptions, if you live in Coos County (Lakeside, North Bend, Coos Bay, Coquille, Myrtle Point, Powers, Bandon, and unincorporated Coos County) or in the city of Florence you probably do business with this company on a weekly basis.
On Friday I had the great opportunity to hang out with Bill Richardson with Les’ Sanitary. Les’ Sanitary is the local affiliate for the nationwide Waste Connections. If you do not know about Les’ it is a necessary support to our community. I know you are probably saying what does garbage have to do with growing a business, but the sanitation district is a great indicator of the economic growth of an area. An increase in the amount of garbage collection implies spending is up, people are purchasing more items that in turn creates more refuse.
I have heard people talking about the new recycling program and how items that used to be acceptable are no longer being collected. I took the opportunity to ask Bill about the recycling efforts, and due to a worldwide overload and restructuring of recycling, many items cannot be taken. Although the recycling program sounds good to most, it costs Les’ $98 a ton to get rid of it and then they need to pay to ship it to Portland, which cost would then need to be passed on to the customers. So, by not accepting items at the curb they are saving the customer base.
I rode with Bill out to the county landfill and he talked about how the county for many years had been losing money every time they fired up the incinerator. After much discussion they closed down the incinerator and built a new transfer station. Because of this, the county landfill is no longer losing money and people are better able to get in and out quickly. Bill has the attitude of working with others even when some might see themselves as direct competition. Bill took me to meet with Dan Jensen from Coos Bay Sanitary. He builds relationships and encourages cooperation both in and outside of his industry.
One story Bill shared with me was about keeping business local. With his permission I tell you this story. One construction project was tearing down a building in Coos Bay, they had arranged to send the construction waste to Eugene, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. That money would have left our community for good. Bill put some numbers together and realized that he could accept the construction waste for a fraction of that cost, keeping the money and jobs local. He also saved the construction company that cost of disposal.
Thank you, Bill Richardson and your team, for everything you do for the community.