EverKept founders bow out of the trash business

***Editor’s note: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated Arrowaste’s rating from the Better Business Bureau. News 8 previously stated Arrowaste has a D- rating. The company actually has an A+ rating. The reference to the rating has been removed from the story. We regret the error.***

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Big changes are coming to the waste disposal business as EverKept, which collects residential waste throughout Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties, is now owned by Arrowaste.

The Stoub brothers, Jason and Chad, grew up in the trash business with their father. Chad used a pick-up truck and U-Haul to gather garbage in 1998. In 2000, Jason joined him.

Both brothers said they struggled with the academic rigor of Calvin College and never really felt like they belonged, but they did graduate.

“I just thought it was ironic. The one thing we’ve done right in life and we’re going to put it to waste,” Chad said.

They had 33 customers to start. It went on to become the largest residential garbage hauler in West Michigan using hustle and on-the-ground marketing.

“We’ll make a business off their crumbs. We would get one or two customers and we would do a good job. We were honest in our billing, we were honest in our service,” Chad said.

“I don’t think one person could be outside doing anything without getting a flyer from us, people were like outside, and they run in because here comes Jason and the garbage truck,” Jason said.

They said they kept the humor in the business.

“I mean it was cute, we used to deliver three carts at a time in a little S-10 pickup, three, now they’re rolling out with 80,” Chad said.

They went on to innovate, introducing single-stream recycling and the use of robotic arms for the haulers.

Now, if you ask these garbagemen why they are leaving the business, you are likely to get an answer like this:

“Where is possibility not being seen, what’s getting in the way of possibility because for our faith, there’s always abundance,” Jason said. “So, if we don’t see the abundance, it doesn’t mean the abundance isn’t there. It’s just that we’re not seeing it.”

They say that their brotherhood and business partnership was far beyond trash-hauling.

“There is something else I want to do, it’s like what’s the next challenge, and Chad and I have always been that way,” Jason said.

Jason plans to teach others about business. Chad will be joining him but also spending time with his children.

But the Calvin College graduate brothers, who started the business 20 years ago, say they believe that Arrowaste is up to the job. 

“We wouldn’t have done this had we thought differently that every week your trash is going to get picked up, very little will change,” Jason said.

“They hired all our people, our office staff all moved over to the new fancy digs, and they love it,” Chad said.

The sale was finalized last week. Arrowaste is retaining the EverKept name so far.

“Our guys, our team is out there picking up that trash. They’re in your neighborhood still. They’re in the same truck in your neighborhood still,” Chad said.

“A lot of us is in this company, so there’s a big loss too, so it would be foolish to not acknowledge that,” Jason said. “The culture or the spirit behind the company is certainly going to change because Chad and I put so much of ourselves into it, our own beliefs, our own faith.”

Arrowaste director of operations Chris Greendyke and Chad Stoub went to Calvin at the same time. They also both grew up in the trash business, while Arrowaste was more involved in commercial hauling. 

“Our residential grew by double, so it’s really a big deal for us. We’re really honored that they chose us,” Greendyke said.

Asked about what will change: “The honest answer is we’re still getting our hands around everything, same guys, same trucks for now,” Greendyke said.

Will Arrowaste raise prices? “Our goal is not to, so we’ll the future brings,” Greendyke said.

More information about the transition can be found online.