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Advance Disposal plans expansion

While worsening economic times have seen the closure of some area industries and the reduction of jobs at others, there are some industries continuing to show growth in Marengo County. Advanced Disposal is a prime example.

The solid waste disposal company finalized a new three-year contract to provide collection service in Demopolis on Tuesday. Through their local office in Linden, Advanced Disposal also provides service in Linden, Marengo County, Choc-taw County and Thomasville.

“We are not affected like the auto industry by the economic downturn,” said Mike Wilson, Advanced Disposal’s general manager in south Alabama. “Because we are a regional company, we are not dependent on factors that are outside of the southeast region. We are financially secure and making investments in this area.”

Advanced Disposal relocated its county offices to an existing building at the Linden industrial in October. It was originally built for a trucking operation, making it a perfect facility to operate and maintain a fleet of garbage trucks. They also plan to build a transfer station.

The average pickup rate for one day is 32 tons in Marengo County. Wilson said that averages to about 35 pounds picked up per household.

“We are looking into have a transfer station in place sometime in 2010,” said Rory Cassedy, the municipal market developer for Advance Disposal’s Gulf Coast area.

The transfer station will add an additional five employees to the existing 27 already based out of the Linden office.

Wilson said the transfer station could also be used by the city for debris removal and local residents wanting to dispose of rubbish.

Advanced Disposal is also expanding in other areas of south Alabama.

“We’re building a new landfill, Turkey Trot Landfill in Washington County, that will hopefully be open the end of 2009. Maybe the beginning of 2010,” said Cassedy. “We are making a huge capital investment in the area because of the potential for growth. We know the economy is going to ebb and flow, but you have to be prepared for it. It is going to come back and we are going to have the infrastructure in place to handle our end of the service. We are looking at long-term growth here.”

Since coming into south Alabama two years ago, Advanced Disposal has earned a strong reputation for its service and has gained ground throughout the southeast. They service parts of Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, including the entire Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast. Cassedy said the company will sign a contract to service Orange beach, Florida today.

“Advanced Disposal has been an excellent corporate citizen for Linden and the rest of the county,” said Linden mayor’s Mitzi Gates. “They have a great track record for providing top service and being very easy to work with.”

“The importance is in the relationship we build with all the communities we service,” said Wilson. “Customer, bar none, is the highest priority to us. We have a bump every once in a awhile, but when we do we take care of it right away.”

Safety and a commitment to employee stability have also helped pushed Advanced Disposal over larger companies to secure new contracts or extensions.

Employees undergo a background check that insures safety on the roads. If an employee candidate has a speeding ticket or any other infactraction within the past three years then they don’t qualify to work for advanced disposal.

“You don’t think of high school students thinking about how they would like to be a garbage man one day, but in actuality once someone starts working for us, they general stay with us,” said Cassedy. “They enjoy the work, they have a set area they have to service, a set schedule they work, the pay is good, and the benefits are extremely good. Our turnover is low, which makes our team stronger.”

Advanced Disposal operates 48 facilities in the Southeast. They also own a number of landfills in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. It services more than 115 city and county contracts, representing 617,000 residential customers.