Connecticut company takes over local trash hauling businesses
HATFIELD – Its longtime owner has been referred to by some as The Trash King of Hampshire County. The family name has been part of the region’s solid waste industry since his parents founded the company in 1947.
However, Duseau Trucking, which was expanded by the late Armand “Buddy” Duseau to become a major regional residential and commercial haulage company, is not immune to the problems the industry is facing, including longer distances to land rubbish, and lower refunds for recycled materials.
With this in mind, 72-year-old Duseau Trucking is merging with USA Hauling & Recycling, a larger company based in Enfield, Connecticut, on Elm Street. It is the second trip to western Massachusetts for the US that recently purchased Alternative Recycling Systems, a smaller freight forwarder on West Street in Hatfield.
Eric Fredericksen, operations manager for USA Hauling & Recycling, said falling recycling revenues and rising fuel costs – caused in part by the lack of a regional landfill in western Massachusetts – are why smaller companies are often trying to partner with or from them His company to be taken over.
“For the most part, we have people who come to us and know we have a good reputation as a family business,” said Fredericksen.
As the opportunities for Duseau trucking and alternative recycling systems arose over the past few months, Fredericksen said the US had decided to extend the residential service it had already offered in recent years to local residents.
Duseau will continue to work as before, with the trucks bearing their names and the whale logo. However, alternative has already changed. The website and contact information now direct customers to USA Hauling & Recycling.
Fredericksen said the changes should be seamless, noting that service is a priority and that customers shouldn’t notice otherwise. The company will continue to follow the rules set by the communities in which it is allowed to work.
“We get trash picked up and recycling,” said Fredericksen. “We are working on integrating routes. In terms of services, this is our main concern.”
Garbage transportation trends
Jan Ameen, executive director of Franklin County’s Solid Waste District in Greenfield, said she was slowly starting to see smaller freight forwarders being taken over by larger ones based elsewhere in New England or as multi-state companies.
“This western Massachusetts region was fortunate to have so many local waste and recycling shippers,” said Ameen.
This has changed as freight forwarders have to keep traveling in or out of the state, which they think can be financially daunting. Private freight forwarders also need to find places to get rid of bulky items like furniture.
Ameen said many customers may not even be aware of the changes as trucks continue to run with previous logos and phone numbers and tariffs remain unchanged.
Mimi Kaplan, Amherst’s waste reduction enforcement coordinator, said the changes are coming quickly for residents who are used to being served by a handful of local garbage haulage companies. A third haulier based in Hatfield, Amherst Trucking, remains independent and serves many of Amherst’s private customers.
Republic, a national freight forwarder, already makes most of the large apartment complexes in Amherst, she said.
Kaplan said it will focus on whether USA Hauling & Recycling is able to do the dual-stream recycling, which keeps paper and bottles separate.
A family business
Duseau has been run by Buddy Duseau’s daughters Beth and Pam and Pam’s husband Richard Carnall for the past few years.
Richard Carnall said the merger with the US is about efficiency and is necessary to ensure survival.
“They have to grow big because recycling is breaking down and trucks are having to travel ever greater distances,” Carnall said. “Aggregation is best for customers and employees.”
Carnall said US involvement will not change the operations of the Valley Recycling facility in Easthampton, a partnership between Duseau and Amherst Trucking.
Carnall said the merger was the best move for the family.
“This generation is preparing for retirement and we wanted to do the right thing for customers and employees,” said Carnall.
Efforts to reach Patrick Kennedy, who founded Alternative Recycling Systems in 1996, were unsuccessful. In a 20-year anniversary gazette story, he said he started with a 40-year-old truck that picked up recyclable materials from a dozen companies once a week, but grew to 25 employees, 20 trucks and 2,500 customers in 20 years and moved from Leeds to a location on Routes 5 and 10 in West Hatfield.
At Alternative, the US is driving some of the same trucks marked with the Connecticut corporate logo and is investing in new equipment.
Fredericksen said the US not only kept customers happy, but kept all of the company’s employees.
“We are very fortunate to work with the team there,” said Fredericksen. “Our people and employees serve the community they live and work in and still support the same businesses in the region.”
He said the company also pledges to continue to get involved in the communities it operates in, like Duseau and Alternative have been.
“Citizen service activities will continue,” said Fredericksen.
Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected]