PHOENIX, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) today announced that one of its founders, Richard Van Hattem, was inducted into the National Waste & Recycling Hall of Fame. During his 44 years in the industry, Van Hattem launched successful business ventures that helped give rise to the modern waste industry.
In 1972, Van Hattem founded National Scavenger Service in Chicago, which grew to become one of the region's largest independent haulers until its combination with a Republic Services predecessor company in the 1990s. The one-truck operation became a proving ground for Van Hattem's pioneering ideas. Early on, Van Hattem recognized the operational efficiency and cost competitiveness that could be achieved through a transfer station, and built one on Chicago's west side. It wasn't until years later that the same model would be broadly adopted, creating an operational improvement with impact industry wide.
"Republic Services would not be the company it is today without Rich," said Republic Services President & CEO Don Slager. "Not just for the financial assets brought to the Company through National Scavenger Service, but for his vision and the leadership model Rich inspired in all of us. Future generations will point to Rich as one of several individuals who enabled the modern waste industry's growth and rise to a position of strength."
Van Hattem also has been heralded for his collaborative leadership style, which often was called upon to bring parties together. He earned high regard from small and mid-sized waste haulers, for the way he built and operated his business and for his adherence to the highest ethical standards.
During his tenure, Van Hattem was largely responsible for setting in motion the Company's growth trajectory, providing the vision and business acumen necessary to dramatically expand its operations nationally. Growing from $25 million to more than $6 billion at the time of his retirement in 2006, Van Hattem's leadership in multiple, executive-level positions helped build the Company into the second largest waste services provider in the United States.
Van Hattem also served as treasurer and a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Waste & Recycling Association for nearly 10 years. He was an active member of the association's Illinois Chapter and received the association's distinguished Service Award in 2003.
"The waste and recycling industry stands on the shoulders of giants like Rich Van Hattem, whose contributions have influenced waste collection, recycling and industry innovation in the United States for decades and will continue to do so for decades to come. We are proud today to induct Rich into our Hall of Fame," said Sharon H. Kneiss, President and CEO, National Waste & Recycling Association.
Van Hattem's community service includes a longstanding dedication to education serving on school boards. In retirement, he and his wife, Ester Van Hattem, have devoted time to their family as busy grandparents while serving their church and community. He currently sits on the Board of Governors for Providence Life Services, a faith-based elder care community, and serves as assistant secretary and treasurer for Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana.
About Republic Services Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. non-hazardous solid waste and recycling. Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection companies, transfer stations, recycling centers and landfills focus on providing reliable environmental services and solutions for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers. Republic and its employees believe in protecting the planet and applying common sense solutions to customers' waste and recycling challenges. For more information, visit the Republic website at republicservices.com.