Eagle River Waste co-owner, Tom Miller, right, of Eagle County, and Meeker resident Fain Richardson, the manager of the Meeker Eagle River Waste operation, display one of the new black garbage carts with the ERW logo which will be replacing the current green GTM and REDI carts at customer homes over the next few weeks. Reed Kelley photo.
MEEKER | As of Oct. 1, Eagle River Waste Services (ERWS) has purchased Meeker’s REDI Services waste operation. ERWS is a small but growing company out of Eagle County founded this year. According to Fain Richardson, outgoing manager of REDI’s Meeker operation, Meeker’s REDI services has “been a proud community partner in Rio Blanco County for 11 years as REDI continues to grow across several states providing industrial and port-o-let services to oil, gas, mining and industrial customers. REDI will still deliver potable water, septic services and porta johns to residential customers. REDI continues to operate from the easternmost half of its property on CR 15.
Richardson has been named the general manager of Meeker ERWS. He will maintain his current team of Tricia Rupp, Wendy Richardson, Rob Lawrence, Rumaldo Ochoa and Adalberto Flores.
Meeting the new owner, Tom Miller, of Edwards, last week was a delight and a lesson in the history of the modern day North American waste management industry. We visited at ERWS’ Meeker operation site, the previous REDI site about a quarter mile east of Hwy. 13 on County Road 15 (Thornburg / Yellow Jacket Pass Road). Miller is president and co-founder of Eagle River Capital, LLC. He has two primary partners, both in Denver: his son, Eric Miller, and Brian Cleveringa. According to Miller, Eagle River is looking to gradually acquire small waste operations like Meeker’s in this general part of the West. Seeking small operations that are relatively close together, Miller said they’ve mapped such outfits over five states—Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota. They currently own the waste services company “At Your Disposal” in Pagosa Springs.
Miller has been in the waste management business since at least 1979 and has been what he calls the “head garbage man” for several large outfits including Browning-Ferris Industries, Allied Waste, Waste Management, Republic Services and Waste Connections of Canada. Tired of retirement, Miller, along with his partners and 16 other investors, started Eagle River Capital and ERWS.
Miller is very interested in recycling as part of the picture as there is certainly value in recycled materials. He sees increasing pressures for more recycling and, he says, “It’s just the right thing to do.” ERWS is providing a transfer station licensed by the county at the CR 15 site where customers will be able to bring their trash, rather than make the long trip to the county landfill. In addition, recycling for metals, plastic, paper and cardboard will be provided there for a drop off fee. Miller hopes glass, too, will be able to be recycled once he’s found a proper glass market.
ERWS will also provide for electronic waste—“anything with a cord on it.” The E-Waste service is expected to cost about 75 cents per pound, with set amounts for larger items like refrigerators, washers and dryers. ERWS has revived the compactor system at the site. Richardson has also just hired Raymond Comer to run the transfer station and recycling, to be there to assist customers and sort materials. The recycling center opened for business this week with hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Miller says his business plan will not be affected by what the Town of Meeker may do with their recycling program.
Miller’s immediate plans are to improve all service levels. The residential plastic GTM/REDI trash carts will be traded out for new, black carts with the ERWS logo before Christmas. All the larger, metal trash bins will be repainted in the near future. In case anyone is wondering, those old plastic carts will be recycled, Miller said. He hopes the company will be a community partner in REDI’s tradition and he hopes folks will appreciate his desire to provide greater convenience for trash and recycling activity. The business phone number remains 970-878-4444.