By LOU WILIN
The abrupt demise of Fostoria-based G.I.B.S. Sanitation Services has done more than cause a stir with its old customers, who were left holding the bag.
It’s lifted competitors who are now absorbing former G.I.B.S. customers.
In the case of Scott VanWormer’s American Trash Hauling Co., it’s been transformative.
“I guess I’m kind of big now. We’ve pretty much doubled in size since G.I.B.S. went out of business. In five days I’ve pretty much doubled,” he said Wednesday. “We had like 420 customers before, and now we’re looking at like 840.”
“Yesterday alone I had 145 calls,” VanWormer said. “I counted them.”
Pretty much a one-man operation, American Trash Hauling hauls mainly residential trash and a few commercial accounts around Hancock County: Findlay, Arlington, Mount Blanchard, Benton Ridge, Rawson, Mount Cory, Arcadia, Fostoria.
Dave’s Hauling also is absorbing former G.I.B.S. customers, and adjusting to having 300 additional customers.
“We’re doing all right. We’re holding our own. My biggest fear is missing people,” owner Dave Brehm said Wednesday. “We have not missed people. We’re doing fine.”
The residential waste hauler is showing discipline and staying in his lane.
“We’re staying mainly in Findlay for that reason, because we don’t run on the outskirts and that is really helping us out,” Brehm said.
But he did branch out into one former outlying area and stomping ground of G.I.B.S.: Arcadia.
“They had a bunch over in Arcadia,” he said.
Curt’s Hauling is playing it cool, being careful not to look greedy or aggressive with the “flood” of new customers coming its way.
“We’re just absorbing what came to us, we’re just taking on people I can take care of. Be respectful of everybody, take on what I can handle,” said owner Curt Reinhart. “With the flood (of customers) that came to us, that’s what I do.”
Absorbing new customers has not been a problem for the hauler of commercial waste. But he does face a longstanding concern about a shortage of qualified drivers holding a commercial driver’s license.
After all, trash hauling is an everyday venture, come rain, sleet, snow or sunshine, as everyone was reminded last week when G.I.B.S. closed.
Much of the burden and boon fell on the smaller haulers, said Mike Hile, owner of Cruise City Hauling.
“The smaller, independent, sole proprietorships like me are kind of taking up the slack. The big companies can’t take any more people,” Hile said.
He said he has seen an increase, but has been able to handle it easily. Cruise City Hauling handles residential waste in Findlay and some rural areas of Hancock County.
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