Sue’s Recycling Celebrates 20 Years of Business
When Jim and Sue Smith accepted their first customers for residential waste collection in the spring of 1993, they never envisioned the success Sue’s Recycling & Sanitation would experience. As the company celebrates their 20th anniversary, the Smith family is reflecting on their two decades in the waste removal business.
The idea for the Vian, Oklahoma-based business came one day while the Smiths were mowing a local park and noticed the amount of trash. The couple submitted a bid to the Army Corps of Engineers with the idea that waste collection would add a year-round element to their lawncare business. Much to their surprise, the bid was accepted.
Soon after, they discovered a profit could be made recycling discarded cans, bottles, and scrap material. The business received its moniker when word spread about the local company that would pick up garbage and recyclables, greatly reducing the waste headed for nearby landfills.
“It’s been 20 years of blood, sweat, and tears - sometimes in that order,” jokes Sue Smith, co-owner and namesake of the business. “But I’m very proud of what we’ve done.”
The Sue’s Recycling ‘fleet’ began as one used truck, purchased shortly after the park bid was approved, with Jim and Sue personally servicing Vian. Today, 13 trucks and 26 employees,including son Taylor, comprise the Sue’s Recycling family. Sue’s Recycling provides sanitation for 16 Oklahoma counties with two transfer stations and a wide variety of options for commercial, industrial, and residential services.
While they’ve expanded over the last 20 years, Sue’s Recycling still takes pride in treating their customers like friends. In their first year of business, Sue once went out of her way to help a young mother find cash inadvertently thrown away in one of the company’s containers.
“That told everybody what we’re all about and that’s customer service,” co-owner Jim Smith points out. “You’ve got to be able to make your customers happy and keep them happy, and we keep our customers happy. We’re proud of our reputation.”
Sue’s Recycling is also proud to partner with many local area governments and volunteer organizations for community clean-up projects. The business has been honored by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation over eight consecutive years for its efforts toward the annual statewide “Trash Off” event in April.