First Class

Fall 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 23

CR&R Waste and Recycling Services has long been a technology leader in Southern California. But for all the modern appearances of an operation that thrives on innovation, there exists a foundation built on simple long-standing values such as performance and dependability. As an example, look no further than the fleet of the firm that services more than 2.5 million people and 5,000 businesses in the Los Angeles area. Leading residential collection efforts for CR&R is the new technologically advanced, CNG-powered Peterbilt Model 320 in efficient side-loader configurations. The CNG-fueled Model 320 also heads the firm's efforts in commercial collection in front-loader configurations. Peterbilt Model 384s, which will soon be cycled out and replaced by Peterbilt's inno- vative new aerodynamic Model 579 powered by the PACCAR MX-13 Engine, transport the trailered materials to landfills and recycling stations. But take a closer look and you'll see an early 1970s era Model 352 still on the job, as well as a classic Model 359 and a handful of hard-working Model 379s. "We do tend to stretch our cycles out, in part because our equipment is so special- ized," says Fleet Manager Frank Alvarez. "But the fact is that this Peterbilt equipment can handle the longer life cycles. If you need further proof of its durability, we have Peterbilts around here we've been running since the 1970s." The staying power and durability of its equipment is just one reason the firm has been growing a foothold in the competitive southern California waste services industry since its inception half a century ago. Better ways From its 1963 start when Clifford Ronnenberg took ownership of the small, Stanton, Calif-headquartered firm, the company embraced better ways of collecting waste, and minimizing its environmental footprint. "We've always been about ideas, research and development, staying ahead of the curve," says David Ronnenberg, Clifford's son and president of the company's primary transfer division. A Legacy of Innovation The company focused largely on sharing the benefits of innovation with its customer base. In California, where waste-control issues have long been front and center, ideas such as the center for buying back recyclables, or the three-can residential system that made it easier for residents to recycle at home, positioned CR&R as a clear leader in a state that looked for new solutions to waste issues. Other ideas improved the firm's operational efficiencies. As evidence, Ronnenberg points to their first on-board computers, so ahead of their time that they were of the company's own design. Pioneering use of GPS also set CR&R's operations apart. Natural-gas pioneer But the use of natural-gas fueled col- lection vehicles, beginning in 2002, were both environmental and business suc- cesses for the company. Initially starting with LNG, by 2005 CR&R began the pro- cess of converting its fleet to CNG once it could fuel its fleet at its own location. The Cummins Westport engines available for the Model 320 are capable of running on either fuel. "We went to alternative fuels long before it was popular," says Alvarez. "But we've always been forward-looking when it comes to adapting to new technolo- gies. Such an approach has always been necessary to succeed in our industry." Having a longstanding comfort level with Peterbilt eased the transition, first to alternative fuels, then to a new Model 320, as well as to the new Model 579, according to Alvarez. New Peterbilts help CR&R stay ahead of the technology curve "What we've come to know over the years is that Peterbilt is all about the details. They think about a lot of things other companies don't think about." — Frank Alvarez 14 l FIRST CLASS CR&R

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of First Class - Fall 2014