HJ/EDHerald Journal, Jan. 30, 2006

Waste Management plans to grow in Winsted, despite loss of call center

By Dave Cox
Staff Writer

Waste Management moved seven call center jobs from Winsted to Blaine, but the company does not plan to leave the city, Senior District Manager Steve Metz said.

Metz said that all of the seven employees affected by the change were offered jobs in the Blaine call center, but he does not believe that any of them accepted these positions.

At least one of the seven has accepted a position in another department within the company, Metz said.

Waste Management currently employs 90 people in Winsted.

That number will drop to 83 when the call center is moved, but Metz pointed out that Waste Management has actually added more employees in Winsted during the past year than will be lost through the call center consolidation.

Last August, Waste Management acquired a recycling company that operated 10 routes in the area. This acquisition resulted in the addition of seven drivers and one mechanic in Winsted, Metz said.

The company has acquired other companies in recent months, including D&J in Stewart, and Central Waste in Buffalo, and Metz says that trend will continue.

“We do not plan to pull out of Winsted by any stretch of the imagination. We have a significant investment in that community,” Metz said. “We plan to grow the company in Winsted. We plan to be there for many, many years.”

“From a training, consistency, and management standpoint, we made a business decision that this was a way that we could improve our operation,” Metz explained.

Metz said that he expects a seamless transition when the Winsted call center is consolidated into Waste Management’s Blaine facility.

Customers should not see any change in service, according to Metz.

“Customers will call the same phone number. The phone will be answered in Blaine. We have well- trained people in our hi-tech facility there that will be able to help them,” Metz commented.

The change is expected to be made March 1.

Metz said that many companies are looking at consolidation of call centers, and noted that Waste Management operates some call centers that cover service areas as large as two states.

Mechanics win recognition

Waste Management’s maintenance facility in Winsted won the top shop award for its region last week in Las Vegas, Metz said. The region comprises a 12-state area.

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