In 1956 two young men began an enterprise that would evolve into a multi-faceted business. Little did they know that they would be starting a venture that would last more than 5 decades and span 3 generations.
There have been many changes to both the Salem area and the garbage and recycling collection business. Steady growth has caused us to become more creative in our collection practices, in order to conduct our business in the most efficient way possible. We have come a long way from the days when Dale Neliton and Orville “Orey” Kliewer, together with their wives Mildred “Millie” Neliton and Pauline Kliewer, had a 1946 Chevy pickup truck and solicited garbage service customers door-to-door. They offered to line the customers’ cans with newspapers to keep them cleaner if they left their discarded paper on top of the can. One major change came in 1979, when the Neliton’s took over the entire business and started using little Cushman carts to pickup in courts, alleys and long driveways. The Cushmans allowed D&O to stop the use of one truck and consolidate routes, which in turn saved resources and increased productivity. In 1987 we began the collection of garbage with automated trucks, which allowed for the consolidation of some routes and increase productivity.
Automated carts and mixed recycling programs have allowed huge strides in servicing of our customers. Yard debris collection was started in 1997 in response to the City of Salem backyard burning ban. That same year, we automated all of our city and urban growth boundary area routes, providing three different sized garbage carts to tailor our service to our customers’ individual needs. In 2002, the mixed recycling program, using the blue 95-gallon carts, was put in place to make our recycling collection program even more efficient and user-friendly. D&O Garbage Service helped to form Salem Area Collectors, which today is called Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association. MVGRA works with local garbage collectors, the City of Salem and Marion County to improve the collection of waste and promote recycling awareness.
In 1975, monthly collection of recycling began, and at the time, there was little demand for many of the materials collected. D&O started collecting weekly recycling in 1987. The State of Oregon passed legislation to increase the amount of recycling diverted from the waste stream in 1990 and find safer ways for disposing of solid waste. We have been privileged in our relationship with Garten Services of Salem to have them process our material and at the same time, employ people with disabilities. Currently, collectors pick up 16 different items at every residential customer curbside in the City and UGB. This effort recycles and diverts a large percentage of the waste stream in Marion County. We also have many different options available for commercial businesses, apartment complexes and industrial accounts. Along with the array of renewable items we collect to recycle, we can also dispose of other pure materials at a lower disposal rate to the customer. We have enjoyed the challenge to keep up with the improvements of the waste industry.