Stephens Sanitation owner Mark Stephens has sold local waste management business Stephens Sanitation. The business was purchased by Waste Management, which is one of five garbage haulers licensed by the city. “There are a lot of good people in town and I liked working with them and for them for all the years I ran the business. Things started last summer and through the course of the summer and fall, the situation came up to sell and it was just the right thing to do considering everything that was going on,” Stephens said. “Waste Management came to us and asked to purchase the company as well as all of our equipment. They also kept on myself and two of my employees.”
Stephens owned the business for over 20 years, with his father taking over the company from his uncle in 1964. The company had grown to run seven trucks.”I have good memories of me and my brother working together. I’ve driven the truck since I was 13 and I’ll be 63 soon,” Stephens said. “Everything was going alright until I sold it. Things were good until last year when the city started making changes to the recycling. It was clear that they didn’t want us there.”
The first time Stephens Sanitation came up was at the June 25 New Richmond City Council meeting, when the council approved raising both the per ton and pull fees for the company. The new fees were meant to supplement the existing arrangement whereby the city pays the wages for labor and Stephens keeps a percentage of the recycling profits. The city made its decision based on the fact that the value of recycling has dropped to the point where the fees are needed to make up the difference.