City of Roses Disposal & Recycling: 2019 EFBA Finalist “Generational Development”

Key milestones in the history of City of Roses Disposal & Recycling

July 1996: Al Simpson Founds City of Roses Dropbox Service.

September 2005: COR Purchases 2 Acre Industrial Site with goal of building own Recycling Facility.

April 2013: COR Receives First Recycling Facility Permit.

August 2013: Founder Al Simpson retires from City of Portland after working for COR and CofP for past 17 years.

December 2017: COR Purchases 12 Acre Industrial Site with goal of getting site permitted as a Solid Waste Facility.

June 2019: Metro Council approves COR Solid Waste Facility Permit which becomes the first-ever privately owned transfer station in the City of Portland.

August 2019: COR begins operations at newly permitted Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Today: COR is now the first-ever and ONLY certified Benefit Corporation Waste & Recycling Company in the entire United States.

Q&A with City of Roses Disposal & Recycling, 2019 Excellence in Family Business finalist in the generational development category

How has your father’s deeply-held value of frugality supported today’s success of COR?  

  • It has become the foundation of COR’s message to the world and the meaning behind our existence “Diverting Wasteful Thinking.”
  • Mass consumption leads to waste and the Founder Al Simpson always made a point to ask everyone “Why Waste?” We have taken these principals and made it a core mission of the family business.

 

What advice do you have about for family business successors who are ready to launch new ventures in their industry?

  • Always respect your elders and predecessors and most importantly learn from their mistakes.
  • As the business grows, the family is continuously strategizing on how to prepare the next generation for roles and expertise that can be secured in house as opposed to hiring externally. We are adamant about preparing our next generation with education in roles to fulfill Legal, Finance, Land Use & Development, Environmental Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation jobs within the company.

 

When did you know you were ready to take on the CEO role in the family company?

  • Once my other family members suggested that title for me…. Which was in the fall 2018.

 

What does it mean to the family to be leaders in the community’s economic development?

  • It means ALOT … In a variety of forms, Economic Development is the main vehicle to financial independence.  We have a huge responsibility to our community, underserved populations, and, most importantly, our youth of color who are all faced with lack of opportunities that lead to financial independence. This is important to us as those barriers are very similar circumstances from which we originate.
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