BY PHILIP STEVENS
“Thank You!” This is the message that David (Dave) and Candi McClelland want to share with the community, especially their customers now that they are transitioning into retirement.
McClelland Sanitation has been a mainstay in Girard and the surrounding communities for 58 years. Dave’s dad, Fred, started the family business back in 1964 when Dave was just eight years old. When Dave turned 14, he started hauling trash after school and on Saturdays. He’s been faithful to the job ever since.
Hometown Girard featured Dave and Candi in our May 6, 2022, edition. The last line of the article was a quote from them that reads, “We don’t have any plans to retire yet.” Well, they just did. So, the question on everyone’s mind is, ‘what changed?’
Dave says that the decision to sell was, “a hard decision, very difficult.” Selling a family business isn’t a decision one makes lightly. There are several main reasons that are major factors for the McClellands.
As Dave noted in April of this year, when interviewed, finding employees has been hard. Finding ones that will show up on time, regularly, is even harder. In the past two or three months, the problem has worsened, forcing Dave and Candi to fill in, driving the truck and loading.
The lack of employees leads to another reason: Dave’s age and health. Dave is 67. Leaving out his personal health details, all you really need to know is that at age 67, the body cannot do what it once did, and pain becomes a daily hurdle.
Lastly, a more uplifting reason, is that Dave and Candi want to spend more time with their children and grandchildren. “Owning and running your own business is almost a 24/7 job,” says Candi, “it’s always on your mind.” They are looking forward to focusing their minds and time on family and friends. “We want to be able to enjoy our family, our grandkids,” says Dave. “And time with each other outside of work,” adds Candi. They have worked together for 44 years now.
McClelland Sanitation has been sold to GFL (Green for Life) Environmental. GFL also owns the landfill in Arcadia, Kansas. Dave assures that the local operations are managed by local people, from McCune and Arma, for example. McClellands also sold their trash trucks to GFL, and all their employees have been hired by GFL. A lot of what customers see is actually the same. In fact, Dave is going to act as a consultant for them for a time so they can utilize his experience if needed. The McClelland Sanitation phone number has also been transferred to GFL, so customers can still call the same number.
GFL is sending out letters of explanation and welcome to all customers very soon. They are a little behind schedule due to a printing error. Other than this delayed communication and GFL logo on the trash trucks, there should be no noticeable difference of service so far.
“We want to thank all our loyal customers. A few of those original customers, from my dad, are still around,” says Dave. “We are grateful to be able to serve Girard for so long.”
From Hometown Girard, we say thank you to Dave and Candi McClelland for your years of great service. Thank you also for supporting the local newspaper, Crawford County Fair, churches, festivals, schools and more. We appreciate you and hope you are blessed and healthy in these retirement years.