A local, family owned and operated waste collection and recycling company for more than six decades, Athens Services provides innovative, consistent and quality environmental services to around a quarter-million customers in more than 50 communities. Gary Clifford, Executive Vice President, and Matt Trouts, Territory Sales Manager, discuss how Athens Services has maintained a rich tradition and a commitment to service, people and the environment.
Who is Athens Services?
Athens Services is a family owned company founded in 1957 that has grown to become the largest waste and recycling company in Southern California. The big difference is we are primarily a landfill-avoidance company; we do everything in our power to divert valuable resources from our landfills. Athens is committed to the environment and supports California as it moves toward a more sustainable future.
How is Athens different from other waste and recycling companies?
We give each municipality the white glove treatment. Not only do we pick up curbside and commercial waste but also we deploy recycling coordinators in the community. They work with each customer to maximize recycling and reduce waste. Our approach builds on what people are doing already to recycle. We educate customers on what is recyclable material; help them reduce their waste, and separate their recyclables at our facilities.
What impact does Athens have on the environment and communities?
Our business philosophy—The Athens Way—underscores a culture that embraces environmental stewardship. We use advanced clean technology to increase recycling and reduce what goes to the landfill. We will pick up your organic waste, take it to our facility to make compost, and return the compost to the community for use in yards and parks to keep them green. We consider ourselves environmental solutionists, and this will be true especially in Thousand Oaks.
Can you describe your sustainability and environmental programs?
We believe that environmental sustainability starts in the home. We focus on education and community outreach. Jessica Aldridge, our sustainability director, is well known in the recycling community. She will bring her vast knowledge and an extensive network of resources to enhance and build community partnerships. Already, we are planning a composting event in the Conejo Valley. We have some exciting plans to educate the community about food waste and green waste.
What does it mean to be a landfill-avoidance company?
Athens does not own any landfills and does not plan to. We have built an extensive network of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) that sort waste and process it scientifically and systematically. We remove everything reusable and recyclable from every waste stream using “walking on the moon” technologies. That is our core difference from companies that pick up your trash using a diesel-powered truck and haul it to a landfill.
Can you tell us about the Sustainability Center and its purpose?
The goal of the Sustainability Center, located at 2251 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, is to be a guiding light to the community for all things recycling. It is accessible to everyone. We adhere to social distancing protocols as we educate people about recycling in the community. At Athens, we have a team of environmental warriors ready to recruit residents and businesses to recycle with us.
Can you tell us about your trucks and what makes them different?
Our goal is to run our fleet as clean as a whistle, so we use advanced near-zero-emissions collection vehicles that run on the cleanest burning fuel—compressed natural gas. We share this environment with everyone, so we want to protect it, even with our fleet.
There are a lot of backyard growers and farmers in Thousand Oaks. How would they benefit from your services?
Athens is a composting leader in the region, with one of the largest and most advanced composting facilities. We produce high-quality compost that is 100% organic and full of nutrients and provide it free of charge to the community. We also offer composting classes to help customers understand the science of backyard composting and how to do it themselves. It is an incredible offering, and people love it.
Learn more at AthensServices.com or call 888.336.6100.