Business bulletin: Don DeFazio, Waste Management of Oklahoma
For Don DeFazio, senior district manager at Waste Management of Oklahoma, the growth of Oklahoma City directly impacts the success of his company.
“Anytime the city’s growing, you have construction,” DeFazio said. “Any time you have construction you typically have people moving into the city, which breeds more construction with the residential market. All of that is great for the trash hauling industry.”
Waste Management is a leading provider of waste management services in North America, and in Oklahoma City, the company contracts with the City of Oklahoma City to handle 60 percent of the trash and 100 percent of the recycling removal from residents. Waste Management’s routes also include independent commercial and industrial contracts.
Waste Management has a staff of 165 employees and a fleet of 140 vehicles—103 of which are powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Each vehicle is equipped with the latest technology, including tablets, track-and-trace capabilities and multiple cameras. These upgrades in technology keep drivers more safe and efficient, and they also helped the company redesign the Oklahoma City residential routes in 2018.
“With all the growth in the city, we wanted to make trash collection as efficient as possible,” DeFazio said.
DeFazio said that one key to continuing the efficiency and overall success of Waste Management in Oklahoma City is the ongoing improvement of roads and highways.
“Oklahoma City per square mile is one of the largest cities in the country, and it’s a lot of ground to cover when you’re operating a fleet of this size,” DeFazio said. “Keeping our roads maintained and continuing transportation and road improvements is one thing that we could continue to improve.”
Because of Oklahoma City’s healthy economy and low unemployment rate, Waste Management also faces the challenge of having enough job applicants to fill their open roles. Because CDL-licensed drivers are in such high demand, Waste Management is often competing with other industries to fill open positions.
“The more people we can bring to Oklahoma City and the more education we can give them, the more we will improve the overall dynamics of our workforce,” DeFazio said. “Anything we can do to bring good quality individuals here to Oklahoma City would be a big help to us.”