One man’s trash

Loren’s Sanitation Service is moving forward with a third generation private family ownership. For the first time in more than 60 years there are no Thackery family members operating Keizer’s Loren’s Sanitation. Wayne Thackery sold the company to Nic Dahl in early January.

“I figured at my age it’s time to do something different; not retired, just do something different,” said Thackery. 

Founded in 1958 by Loren and Jackie Thackery, Loren’s Sanitation has been a staple in the greater Keizer community for more than 60 years. The company was built on a commitment of exceptional service to its customers, community, employees, and family. It has been led for the past 38 years by Loren’s son Wayne Thackery. With the purchase by Nic Dahl, Loren’s Sanitation remains a private family run business. 

The privately owned solid waste haulers in Oregon are a tight knit group. Wayne’s father, Loren Thackery, knew Nic Dahl’s grandfather, Gene, when he ran the disposal business in Lincoln County.

The younger Dahl and the younger Thackery have known each other for decades. They interacted when Dahl was running Dahl Disposal Service. Both Dahl and Thackery have served as directors and officers with the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association.

Nic Dahl started his career in the industry at a young age.

“I started at the bottom picking litter at the Agate beach landfill,” said Dahl.  From those early days Dahl worked and knew every position in the company. Then while attending Linfield College the younger Dahl took over a leadership in the company at the age of 18 after his father passed away in 1999.

It was testament to Nic’s father’s character that the Lincoln County communities, employees and everybody rallied behind them. 

 “Which was just a true blessing,” said Nic. “It was a lovely moment that our communities really came in behind us and really supported the family through those dark moments in our lives.”

Wayne Thackery elicits similar feelings from the Keizer community. There are few areas of the community that don’t have his fingerprints. Loren’s Sanitation and Wayne Thackery have been generous to Keizer. The only way to be aware of that largesse is by being named Keizer’s First Citizen by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce in 2003 and Merchant of the Year in 1996. Such recognition embarrasses the unassuming man.

“We’ve never been one to toot our own horn,” he said.

Wayne learned about giving from father Loren. 

“He was always helping somebody behind the scenes that a lot of people that really didn’t know,” said Wayne. “He was one that didn’t toot his own horn either. He would go out and just do things in the community that needed to be done. And didn’t expect nothing for it, just did it because it had to be done.” 

Nic said, “I feel blessed and humbled to be the next generation steward of Loren’s Sanitation and am looking forward to continuing the Thackery family’s legacy of exceptional commitment of service to our communities, customers, employees, industry and family. 

“John Sullivan, general manager of Loren’s, and Wayne built an incredible team of dedicated community minded long-term employees and I look forward to being part of this team and the communities that they serve.”

“I feel I’ve been blessed to be in this community,” said Wayne Thackery. “I think Keizer’s a different community than you see in a lot of communities. If there is somebody in need in Keizer, the community comes together and would help him. It’s an honor to be part of something like that.”

WHEAT, L.L.C., the street sweeping arm of Loren’s Sanitation was part of the purchase.

Though he says it is time to do something different, Wayne has plenty of interests to keep him busy in his post-sanitation life. He is a prodigious collector, especially with old steam equipment. He has been deeply involved at Heritage Powerland in Brooks for years.