Windfalls of kindness a trash man's best-kept secret

Raymond Cooper with Bestway Disposal rides through town on a frosty morning while on his route on Friday, December 28, 2012. Photo by JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

After a series of deals in late 2018, Colorado Springs-based Bestway Disposal now is owned by Canadian waste disposal giant GFL Environmental Inc.

The new owner retained Bestway’s management team and all 153 employees and nothing is expected to change for either residential or commercial customers, including rates, said longtime Bestway General Manager Judd Staton. Bestway will continue to operate under the Bestway name in Colorado Springs “for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Bestway was sold in December by brothers Tom and Phil Kiemel to Denver-based Alpine Disposal Inc., which had been acquired about seven months earlier by Raleigh, N.C.-based Waste Industries in a bid to expand beyond its eight-state territory along the East Coast. GFL had acquired Waste Industries nearly two months before the Bestway deal in a $2.83 billion transaction.

Bestway was started in 1950 and has been owned by the Kiemel family since 1967. Phil Kiemel had been with the company since 1977 and Tom Kiemel joined his brother in 1988. They agreed to sell after Waste Industries approached them in late summer, completing the deal Dec. 1 and notifying customers in a Jan. 1 letter, Staton said.

GFL CEO Patrick Dovigi told Bestway customers in the letter that “GFL shares the same values as Bestway” and that the company plans to introduce customers “soon to all of the benefits of GFL’s ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for waste management and recycling services.”

He also said customers may notice branching and invoice format changes.

The deal leaves national players owning three of the four largest trash haulers in Colorado Springs, including Houston-based industry giant Waste Management, Canadian giant Waste Connections, GFL-owned Bestway and Springs Waste Systems, owned by the Colorado-based Shrader family. Waste Management began buying up local trash haulers in the mid-1980s, Browning-Ferris Industries bought up several trash haulers in the late 1980s before selling them to another company that sold the operation in 2007 to Waste Connections.

Customers in single-family homes typically pay about $20 a month for weekly trash service and $5 for recycling service, rates that have risen gradually in the past few years, Staton said.

Toronto-based GFL served 2.3 million residential and 60,000 commercial and industrial customers with 6,000 employees in Canada and Michigan before acquiring Waste Industries. The combined company is North America’s largest privately owned environmental services company, operating 98 collection operations, 59 transfer stations, 39 other facilities and 47 landfills.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234



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