By Rachael Rees • The Bulletin

The basics

What: Bend Garbage & Recycling and sister companies

What it does: Garbage and recycling collection for half of Bend, Redmond, Sisters and surrounding areas

Pictured: Owners, from left: Brad Bailey, Bruce Bailey and Chris Crownover

Where: 20835 N.E. Montana Way, Bend

Employees: 86

Phone: 541-382-2263


When Brad Bailey’s parents bought Bend Garbage & Recycling nearly 30 years ago, there were no automated trucks, no roll carts or curbside recycling, and the company employed 11 people.

Today, all that has changed, and the Bailey family not only owns Bend Garbage & Recycling but also High Country Disposal, which serves Redmond, Sisters, Terrebonne, Black Butte Ranch and Camp Sherman; SecureShred, document destruction; Deschutes Recycling, at Knott Landfill; and Mid Oregon Recycling, which bales and hauls recycled material. It is also the managing entity of Deschutes Transfer Company, which hauls garbage and recycling from transfer stations to the landfill. Together, the companies employ 86 people.

“We pride ourselves on being the local expert in waste,” said Bailey, co-owner and president of Bend Garbage & Recycling. “We’re haulers and collectors. We basically haul and collect garbage and recycling material from residential, commercial and industrial customers.”

Before the company went to automation, Bailey said, a driver would get out of the truck at every stop to manually pick up the garbage can and dump it. Automation came with the introduction of roll carts that could be picked up with a mechanical arm on the truck. The change increased safety for the driver and more than doubled the number of stops he or she could make in a day, he said.

The addition of curbside recycling, which started in the late 1980s, has been one of the changes that has led to the most growth for the company, Bailey said.

“The entire route could be collected in about four hours and fit in the back of a pickup truck,” he said, referring to the start of curbside recycling. “Now the program has evolved into a fully-automated, 95-gallon roll cart collected every other week.”

As the program has matured over time, he said, the volume and type of material customers can recycle has increased.

“Our operations have evolved since 1985 and continue to evolve every day as we address the ever-changing needs of our customers and a growing community,” Bailey said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818,

Q: Where do you hope Bend Garbage & Recycling will be in the next five years?

A: I think we’re going to have to continue to try and meet the next needs of our growing community. There is probably going to be increased recycling and waste diversion opportunities for our customers.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge with your company?

A: Managing for growth, making sure our services always exceeded our expectations even though we were running to keep up with growth. During the downturn, the biggest challenge was to stay efficient and cost-effective so we were able to provide cost-effective services to our customers and survive the downturn. We were efficient going into it and even more efficient coming out of it.