Alando Simpson takes great pride in the fact that City of Roses Disposal & Recycling (COR) is a certified B-Corp with a diverse workforce and the first waste company in the United States fully owned by African-Americans.
An industry leader in the removal, salvage and recovery of construction and demolition debris, COR serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Portland metro area.
His father, Al Simpson, established the family owned company in 1996 with the notion that resources – environmental, human or monetary – should not be wasted. Alando Simpson has worked alongside his dad for most of his life and said he taught him hard work, discipline and to “take care of those in need and never allow anyone or anything stop you from pursuing your goals.”
Simpson said four COR values drive the company. The first is to achieve a waste recovery goal of at least 90 percent and encourage a zero-waste economy in Portland. The company has built vertically integrated operations and is investing in novel, high-efficiency recycling systems that ensure valuable resources are used to their full capacity.
The second is to deliver cost-effective and environmentally sound operations, which includes minimizing travel distances, maximizing efficiencies, repurposing materials whenever possible and processing them locally. Customer service and treating the community as friends and family make up the third value.
Equity is the fourth COR value. Simpson noted that despite much progress, there is still work to do to build a truly equitable city and state.
“Today, an Oregonian of color is still more than twice as likely to live in poverty as a white Oregonian. We live our value of equity for all by creating employment opportunities for minorities and for second-chance employees, and paying them livable wages. A rising tide lifts all boats, and we want to ensure each and every one of us has an opportunity to live a life of contribution and dignity.”
Simpson’s entrepreneurial family now owns seven different businesses and he said the thing he enjoys most about his work is “having the ability to help people and change the world through business.”
— Melody Finnemore