After six decades of family ownership, Gallegos Sanitation sells to national waste hauler

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Gallegos Sanitation picks up trash and recyclables in west Fort Collins Jan. 6. Gallegos, family owned for 61 years, sold to Arizona-bases waste collector Republic Services.

After 61 years of local ownership, Gallegos Sanitation owners Jerry, Arthur and Rudy Gallegos are retiring and have sold the Fort Collins company to publicly traded national trash hauler Republic Services. 

The sale was effective Jan. 1; terms of the sale were not released.

Kari Gallegos-Doering said in a statement that “Like GSI, Republic is committed to safety service and sustainability, and we are confident that this partnership will help the Front Range and Northern Colorado communities in continuing to move forward on important waste diversion and environmental goals. 

“The Gallegos family has been honored to serve Northern Colorado for 61 years and we thank the community and our loyal customers for their support,” Gallegos-Doering wrote. 

In a joint letter to customers, Republic and Gallegos officials said there will be no immediate changes to scheduled pickups, delivery dates, billing or equipment. 

The main Gallegos office at 1941 Heath Pkwy. in Fort Collins will continue to be the hub for Republic’s truck yard, shops and base for local workers. 

“We feel really good about this decision for our community,” owner Rudy Gallegos said in the letter. “Republic Services cares for their people, like we do, and they are committed to safety, service and sustainability. All of these aspects, coupled with their immense stewardship, community giving, diversity and inclusion, impressed us.” 

According to its website, Republic Services is the second largest provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services in the U.S. as measured by revenue. 

Gallegos Sanitation was founded in 1959 when Edward Gallegos and sons Art, Jerry and Rudy formed a part-time lawn mowing and hauling business. The company grew into a 70-truck fleet of waste and recycling trucks serving Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming and remains a family affair with three generations of the Gallegos family working for the company.

Gallegos began “at a time when full-service gas stations were on every corner, and everyone’s motto was ‘service with a smile,'” the company says on its website. “Businesses took pride in the service they provided to their customers, and Edward was no different. His perfectionist attitude became a strong root in our approach to business then and is still the largest part of our approach to how we service customers today.”

The company has long been involved in community activities and nearly a decade ago added curbside recycling of plastic, glass, metal, newsprint and green-waste collection.

In 1961, Gallegos introduced the first automated garbage collection truck to the streets of Fort Collins. In 1967, he applied some of his mechanical skills and designed his own cardboard baling mechanism that included many of the design features the company still sees in modern day baling systems.

Today, Gallegos continues to use innovative technology from GPS and onboard computer systems to new engine and fuel technologies that reduce carbon emissions.  

“From a humble beginning, our business has grown to serve a very large part of Northern Colorado with a primary service area spanning across the Tri-City area, from north of the Wyoming state line all the way south through Berthoud to the Boulder County line,” the company said. 

Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RSG, Republic shares closed Wednesday at $95.55, up 2.05% since Tuesday’s close. 

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at patferrier@coloradoan.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.