Community Foundation(s): Willmar Area
Award: 2019 WACF Community Builder Award
“What would a good neighbor do?” Whether considering internal managerial decisions, strategically reviewing external partnerships, to daily personal experiences, the company of West Central Sanitation (WCS) asks this principle question. They believe in not only standing by a slogan, this question upholds the value of who and what West Central Sanitation is and strives to be for the communities they serve.
In 1979, Don Williamson was persuaded to purchase a “little garbage business” with a single small Saturday route in rural Willmar. Today, WCS operates in 21 Minnesota counties, serving over 150 communities with 115 fulltime staff known across their communities as “Good Neighbors You Have Come To Trust”. Each WCS employee works hard to follow the mission statement within all business practices, as well as striving to uphold the mission as a personal value.
To Don, being a “Good Neighbor” means more than just customer service, it’s being involved and supporting each community they serve. From belonging to the local Chamber of Commerce and local business associations, to donating services for community events or sponsoring local community initiatives, schools and non-profits – being a good neighbor is about giving of not only resources, but of yourself. In the Willmar area, WCS has been involved in supporting the KCEO program, the capital campaigns for the Kandiyohi County Area YMCA and Community Christian School, the founding of the Fortress, and providing assistance to the Destination Playground and Rockin’ Robbins. As Don states “We are all stewards, we all have something to give – whether it is the resources, time and talent. Our role in life is to step up and invest of ourselves and our resources, whatever they are, to help others, bless others and ultimately love others.”
The value of stewardship is constant throughout the organization of WCS. As Don quotes “You can choose to criticize your community or you can choose to make a difference.” Resolving trash problems, providing community clean ups, having accessible recycling options, and investing in compressed natural gas vehicles that provide a cleaner and greener environment are some examples of WCS’s stewardship.
West Central Sanitation does more than provide exceptional service – they live their principles and set an example as a “good neighbor” that strengthens and builds our communities every day.