Haul of Fame: Royal Refuse

Welcome to the Haul of Fame, a weekly series from Rubicon in which we sit down with a hauler partner to talk about their company, their community, and how they’re collaborating with Rubicon in our mission to end waste.

Royal Refuse Service, Inc. is based in Eugene, Oregon and has been serving the waste and recycling needs of Lane County, Oregon since 1977. The company is a third-generation family-run hauler originally founded by Dave and Delores Bales. With more than 30 trucks in its fleet, Royal Refuse’s more than 30 employees have been working with Rubicon to provide waste (including organic and biohazard waste) and recycling services since 2015.

Joshua Burnett, General Manager of Royal Refuse, sat down with Rubicon to talk about his company and mission for the Haul of Fame.

How does Rubicon’s mission to end waste match-up to Royal Refuse’s own company mission?

Royal Refuse: Our philosophy is to be as efficient as possible in everything we do. We utilize time, fuel, people, and resources to the best of our abilities, so there is no waste. Our local government is slowly changing the paradigm to look more at the lifecycle of products and the waste stream, but it continues to be an uphill battle.

How does Royal Refuse distinguish itself from the competition?

Royal Refuse: We separate ourselves by being honest and genuinely wanting the best for our customers and community. My grandfather started this company in 1977. We have been a family-owned and operated company ever since. We are here to make a living; not a killing. We are here to grow with our city; not take advantage of our city. We are here to better ourselves; not enrich ourselves. We are the local hauler that wants to be your local hauler.

What is the view of Royal Refuse when it comes to participating in the circular economy and helping build a more sustainable future?

Royal Refuse: At Royal Refuse, we understand and witness the product lifecycle on a daily basis. We feel it is our role to call out discrepancies when generators (our customers) and consumers (the Materials Recovery Facility, the landfill) have competing needs and wants. Our role is bridging what our customers want (to recycle everything) with what our consumers are economically willing to accept. Sustainability should not be blind nor deaf, and it is our role to be the eyes and ears of our community.

What do you love most about the community in which you work, and the customers you serve?

Royal Refuse: This is our home, and we take immense joy in watching our customers’ businesses grow, and being able to partner with them in that growth.

Where does Royal Refuse see itself five years from now?

Royal Refuse: We are hoping to expand into neighboring municipalities and show other cities what it is like to partner with Royal Refuse—a true family business that loves the community in which it lives and works.


Lori Sullivan is Vice President of Hauler Operations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.

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