Though the trucks still say Arrow Refuse, Juneau's trash has been picked up by a new company since the beginning of the year.
Alaska Pacific Environmental Services, a newly formed, Alaskan-owned company, bought the garbage-collection operations in Juneau, Ketchikan, Nome and Dutch Harbor, effective Jan. 1.
The company bought the operations from Waste Management, "the Walmart of waste," said Glen Thompson, APES general manager for Juneau and Ketchikan.
Waste Management decided recently to pull out of some smaller waste-hauling markets throughout the nation where it cannot operate efficiently, he said.
Waste Management officials in Juneau could not be reached for comment.
APES will continue to conduct business in Juneau under the name Arrow Refuse and in Ketchikan as Tongass Sanitation, and customers will notice few differences between the owners, said Thompson.
The only immediate change is that customers have to resubmit paperwork for the company's Easy Pay option, which allows customers to have charges automatically applied to a credit card or deducted from a bank account.
"Because it has to do with banks and credit cards, we have to get new authorization for the Easy Pay," Thompson said.
Though the company's services and prices have remained unchanged in the ownership shift, Alaskans will benefit from being served by an Alaskan-owned company, Thompson said.
"The money's going to stay in Alaska, and I think the personal touch that you get is going to be more," Thompson said. "I think we'll be more swayed toward doing things that work for Juneau rather than what works for the whole country."
The first task at hand for Thompson in Juneau and Ketchikan is the issue of bears and garbage, he said.
"The problem's getting better, but it's by no means solved," Thompson said. "That's where we're going to concentrate at this time."
Thompson foresees no personnel changes at Arrow Refuse other than hiring an accounting manager, he said.
Anchorage businessmen Bobby Cox, Timothy Culhane and Jeff Henrikson are the principal owners of the company.
Cox, who will manage the company, most recently held the position of vice president for the Alaska division of Waste Management. Culhane worked for his family's business, Anchorage Refuse, before it was sold to Waste Management. Henrikson was an assistant vice president with First National Bank of Alaska. Culhane and Henrikson also own a real estate development company.
Waste Management, doing business as Capital Disposal, still owns Juneau's landfill and incinerator.
Christine Schmid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.