50 Things You Might Not Know About Granger

By Rachael on September 8, 2016

Granger 50 Est

In celebration of Granger’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to share 50 interesting facts that help you better understand who we are and how we became the Granger you know today. Happy reading!

  1. We’re not just a trash company. We also provide recycling and yard waste collection and produce renewable energy from landfill gas.
  2. Trash wasn’t our first gig. We started out in the construction industry. Trash hauling became part of our business in 1966.
  3. We’re frugal. We bought our first garbage truck used for $5,400.
  4. We came full circle. In 1975, we bought Rankin & Lewis, the trash company we had initially used to haul trash for our construction business.
  5. We’re growing. While our hauling business began in greater Lansing, our service territory now extends north to Gratiot County, west to Kent County, south to Jackson County and east to Shiawassee County.
  6. We are family. Not only is Granger a family business that is now employing the fourth generation of the family, we also have more than 50 other associates who are related to each other or married to each other. 
    The current third and fourth generation working Granger family members with the second generation brothers
  7. We’re in it for the long haul. At the time we published this post, our 284 associates had worked for Granger for a combined total of 3,142 years.
  8. We like to try new things. They don’t always work out. Granger once owned part of a shrimp farm, an energy-efficient lighting business, a trucking company and a retail landscape supply business. We don’t own any of those anymore.
  9. We provide inspiration to others. We publish Bible verses and inspirational messages on our garbage trucks and our invoices. (Interesting read: Inspirational Thoughts, Courtesy of Your Garbage Truck)
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    Most Granger trash and recycling trucks wear an inspirational message or Bible verse. This initiative was started by co-founder Ron Granger.
  10. We have a history of recycling. We first made recycling available to Granger customers in 1989. That’s more than 25 years!
  11. We’re proud of our “firsts.” Granger was first to make practical use of landfill gas in Michigan (1985) and first in Lansing area to provide rolling trash carts to customers (1983).
  12. We collect tomorrow’s energy. On an annual basis, landfill gas projects at the two landfills we own generate enough electricity to more than 6,700 homes.
  13. We live by the Golden Rule. Ron and Jerry Granger, the founders of Granger, used “treating others the way you want to be treated” as the basis for this business and we follow that example to this day.
  14. We enjoy talking trash. Annually, we provide presentations and tours of our facilities for more than 700 people. Request a tour or presentation for your school group or organization.
    Recycling Center tour at Granger in Lansing, Michigan
    Our recycling manager gives a tour of the Granger Recycling Center to a group of students.
  15. We support the communities we serve. This year, we’ve already provided more than 60 sponsorships for community events (and it’s only September). Learn more about our involvement in our communities.
  16. We take care of our associates. From our impressive 401(k) program to our health benefits, we provide lots of reasons to stick around Granger for a long time. Learn more about working at Granger.
  17. We have the world’s only trash cart mascot. Captain CurbySM has been around since 1983, delighting kids and adults alike with his antics. (Ok, so we don’t know for sure that he’s the only one, but he’s definitely the best. Read why we think so, here.)
    Little Curby-0017C
    Granger’s mascot, Captain Curby
  18. We regularly get mistaken for that other Granger (Grainger). We get emails and phone calls on a weekly basis, requesting catalogs and product pricing. We always politely refer them to the company that does sell products.
  19. We’re green. The green mark of the Granger logo can be seen as a leaf to represent our commitment to the environment.
  20. We use resources responsibly. The green mark of the Granger logo can also be seen as a flame to represent our Energy Services division.
  21. We’re proud of our name. If you turn the green emblem of our logo sideways, it’s in the shape of a G for Granger. Pretty clever, huh?
  22. Our professional drivers are pretty tech savvy. Each truck contains a computer tablet that enhances their ability to service customers. They can use it to send and receive service-related messages to and from customer service and check their stops off as collected, not out, etc.
    A driver is shown inside a front-load truck. In addition to using the tablet, the driver uses a joystick to control the arms that lift the heavy trash containers to empty them into the top of the truck.
  23. Our driver supervisors have their hands on some technology, too. From their end in the office, they can use the driver’s tablet to see the truck’s location (and track where the truck was at different times of the day) and monitor their speed.
  24. We provide consistent renewable energy. Our landfill-gas-to-energy projects are producing renewable energy 24/7, 365 days/year.
  25. We built a 76-acre, 4-season park in 2005. Granger Meadows Park was designed and built by Granger associates and donated to DeWitt Charter Township.
  26. We’re handy. We are lucky enough to have 17 full-time mechanics and maintenance technicians who keep our equipment running smoothly.
  27. Granger associates don’t have to pay for trash service. A neat perk for associates who live in our service territory (which is most of them) is that they are eligible for free trash, recycling and yard waste service. (Did we have you at free trash? Learn about Granger’s current openings.)
  28. We’re big on design. Granger employs several engineers who work on our landfill projects.
    2010 08 25 kim smelker with gas well and off-road truck in background CD121-0035
    One of our engineers is seen here monitoring gas levels at the landfill.
  29. We’re thoughtful. Our CEO handwrites a birthday card to be delivered to each Granger associate every year.
  30. We’re appreciated. Each year, we receive dozens of messages from customers and community members about Granger associates who go above and beyond while performing their duties. (Do you have a positive experience you’d like to share with us? Leave some kudos for your driver here.)
  31. We know it’s important to give back. In 1978, Ron and Jerry Granger and their wives established The Granger Foundation. Every year, Granger donates a sizable amount of money to this foundation and the Granger III Foundation, which was founded by third generation Granger family members.
  32. We’re separate. In 1991, the waste hauling and renewable energy company split from the construction side of things. Today, Granger and Granger Construction are two completely independent companies. (Although we still like them and hang out with them from time to time.)
  33. We’re award-winning. We’ve been lucky enough to win awards for social responsibility, innovation, renewable energy production and recycling, among others.
  34. Most of us aren’t that young. (But we’re not saying we’re old.) When we published this post, the average age of a Granger associate was 40.6.
  35. We really go Nuts! We’ve been a sponsor of the Lansing Lugnuts organization since they came to Lansing in 1996. Our associates reap the benefits of this sponsorship by using the Granger season tickets, which are right behind the visitors’ dugout on the third base line.
  36. We’re versatile. Rather than picking up trash, the first official duty of Granger’s first trash truck was a food run. After purchasing the truck, Ron Granger drove it back to the office, picked up his brothers Alton and Jerry and took them to lunch at the Harley Hotel.
  37. We know how to laugh at ourselves. Over the years, we’ve had all kinds of sayings on our invoices. One of the funniest, which was suggested by a customer, was Your crap put us on the map. We decided using it may have been in poor taste, so on the following invoice we issued this apology: For picking up trash we’re sure a smash, but as poets we sure do blow it.
  38. Safety is our thing. We have a safety director, a compliance & safety officer and a safety & operations supervisor. We’re constantly working to improve the safety of all our associates, in particular those who are out on the road daily.
  39. We reward safe behavior. All our associates who work in the field are part of a safety incentive program that recognizes calendar years of safe behavior and gives rewards for milestone years. In 2016, 187 Granger associates were recognized for 703 safe years! The associate with the highest number of safe years had 27.
  40. We provide feel good stories and articles, free of charge. All Granger associates receive a subscription to Guideposts magazine, an inspirational publication, courtesy of the company.
  41. Our associates are pretty busy. In the last year alone, we collected 1,141,000 cubic yards of trash, drove 2,400,000 miles, serviced 25,781 stops per day and changed 1,850 tires.
  42. We get respect. In 2008, then Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm visited  Wood Road Generating Station. Not only did she call us “the best of the best” in landfill gas use, she invited us to make a trip to Sweden to learn about renewable energy being used there.
    2008 02 047 governor granholm talking to joel zylstra gesturing to engine 100-0242
    Granger COO of Energy Services Joel Zylstra gave then Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm a tour of Wood Road Generating Station in 2008.
  43. We have our very own Father Mulcahy. Just like the doctors and nurses of the 4077 in MASH had their own chaplain, Granger has its own corporate chaplain, Bob DeWeese. Bob makes the rounds at many Granger locations, providing a listening ear for associates. He’s also on call for associates in times of need. He even does weddings!
  44. We’re always celebrating. We recognize each associate’s birthday and work anniversary, both in our associate newsletter and on our intranet, Granger Central.
  45. We’re a responsible landfill owner. We first got into the landfill business in 1973 and now own and operate two landfills in the Lansing area. We maintain them both to our quality standards for safety and environmentally sound disposal and to exceed federal and state regulatory requirements.
    Because of their large size, landfills are separated in cells. This cell is being prepped to take in trash safely.
  46. We’ve made imprints throughout the mitten. Though we got our start in the greater Lansing area, which continues to house our headquarters, we now have facilities in Alma, Jackson and the Grand Rapids area.
  47. We get a kick out of big machines. In order to get our jobs done, we not only use several different kinds of trash and recycling trucks, we also make use of bulldozers, excavators, loaders, trash machines, graders, water trucks, engine generator sets and many more types of heavy equipment.
  48. We’re somewhat driver-heavy. This one’s probably not that much of a surprise, but drivers make up the biggest part of our workforce. We currently employ 120 drivers, and we’re always looking for more. (Do you have a CDL-B license and want to help us collect tomorrow’s energy? Apply today!)
  49. Even though we’re all garbage men and women here at Granger, we wear a variety of different hats and perform numerous different jobs. In addition to the mechanics, safety personnel, engineers and drivers we already mentioned, we also employ human resources professionals, equipment operators, cashiers, customer service representatives, accounting personnel, governmental and community relations associates and associates who specialize in communications and brand strategy. Learn more about careers at Granger.
  50. We’re grateful. We know we wouldn’t be where we are today, celebrating 50 years without each and every one of our customers. Thank you for your business.

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