We were asked to do a Touch-a-Truck at an elementary school in Hutchinson. Jonathan, one of our drivers who services a lot of towns, gladly agreed to do this. He showed the children how he empties the carts, and they loved it! The children asked questions about the truck and how it works. They also all got a chance to sit in the truck, and some of them took the opportunity to honk the horn as well. One child said, “I like trash trucks. They’re so pretty!” We love when our drivers get opportunities to interact with children like this.
Nisly Brothers Company History Part I- “The Early Years: 1956-1986”
In 1956, Menno Nisly, a part-time farmer with an entrepreneurial mind had a vision for providing the community with an essential service. Menno saw an opportunity to serve the Hutchinson area through trash collection and started Nisly Brothers with help from his brother Jonas. Menno expressed his vision for honoring God and serving others with this motto from Ecclesiastes: “Whatever you do, do it well.” Menno started out by contracting with the City of Hutchinson to provide waste collection to multiple businesses in Hutchinson.
As a part-time hog farmer, Menno would collect food waste from restaurants and day-old bread from bakeries in Hutchinson to feed to his hogs. Menno was frugal and happy to repurpose the discarded food waste and day-old bread for his hogs. This continued for many years until the labor-intensive process of sorting food waste from trash no longer made this venture cost-effective. During this time Menno realized he had to choose between Nisly Brothers or his part-time farming. Although Menno enjoyed many years of farming, he decided to discontinue his farming to focus on Nisly Brothers.
In those early days, trucks had little capacity for trash because they had no compacting mechanism. Two Nisly employees would lift the trash barrel in through the side and dump the contents into the truck.
However, in 1973, Nisly Brothers began pursuing containerized waste collection. Menno purchased several rear load trash containers from the City of Hutchinson when Hutchinson decided to discontinue commercial trash service. He also purchased Nisly Brothers’ first rear-loading truck, which included compacting machinery to allow for more trash capacity.
Nisly Brothers served many commercial customers in Hutchinson and also began serving municipalities in western Reno County including Plevna, Sylvia, Abbyville, and Partridge. Menno also bought a roll-off truck and four roll-off containers. The initial roll-off containers were 12 and 16 cubic yards and were considerably smaller than the 20, 30, and 40 cubic yard containers Nisly Brothers currently offers. However, this was a big step for Nisly Brothers as it paved the way for larger trash items as well as clean-up or construction projects.
Nisly Brothers Company History Part II- “Expansion And Retirement: 1987-2002”
In 1987, Nisly Brothers expanded containerized waste collection services by offering the first residential trash carts. Nisly Brothers recognized a need in the local area for residential trash carts as a convenience to customers, an increase in efficiency, and a safety improvement for employees loading trash. Nisly Brothers also began stocking commercial containers to better serve the needs of businesses in the area.
The 1990’s brought a greater environmental awareness and the beginning of residential curbside recycling for Nisly Brothers. Nisly Brothers chose to offer recycling as a sustainable waste collection option for residential customers.
The 90’s also brought increased regulations for landfills, and as a result, in 1993, Kingman County chose to close their county landfill and exit the trash collection industry, referring their former customers to Nisly Brothers instead. Nisly Brothers began widespread residential service in Kingman County and also contracted with various cities in the county.
Nisly Brothers continued to expand into new service areas. After expanding into Kingman County, Nisly Brothers continued fielding requests for trash service across south central Kansas. To continue serving the community, Nisly Brothers responded to those requests and began service in Stafford County and Pratt County.
In 2002, founder Menno Nisly retired and sold the business to three of his sons: Harold, Marvin, and Arnold.
While Menno transitioned the business to his sons, he also passed along his vision of giving your all to serve others. Even, after his “retirement,” Menno remained involved in the business as a delivery driver, when needed, for nearly a decade. His motto, “Whatever you do, do it well,” had helped establish Nisly Brothers as a company focused on quality service and customer care.