About Us

Our Story

The Beginning

Jim and Sue Smith met in March of 1977 when Sue began working at a local nuclear processing facility. Jim’s career there began a few years earlier in 1975. The two worked together for two years and eventually married in 1979. They bought a home and made their residence on Lake Tenkiller, OK.

A few years after they married, they began to look for opportunities to start their own business. The couple heard from a friend that the United States Corp of Engineers was accepting bids to collect trash in a local park. Sue prepared and submitted a bid. In only a few days, Sue received a notice in the mail informing her that she and Jim were the successful bidders! On July 4, 1984, Jim began picking up trash in the park using a half-ton truck with racks on the sides.

The Growth

Over the next few months, Jim and Sue were awarded contracts to service several other sites for the Corp. In September of 1985, Jim decided to leave his day job and focus full-time on running the business (then called S & S Contractors.) By 1992, S & S had grown to have several full-time employees and provided janitorial, trash collection and lawn maintenance services from Tulsa, OK to Fort Smith, AR.

At this point, all the garbage collected in the parks was being brought to the S & S facility and removed in dumpsters provided by a local trash company. Over time, the disposal needs of the business outgrew what could be provided by the local hauler. While looking through a local newspaper, Jim found a used trash truck for sale. He thought this would be a perfect solution for their situation. Jim contacted the seller and arranged to see the truck the following weekend. Jim and Sue drove to Tulsa to meet the truck’s owner, and a deal was made that day. Unfortunately, the truck had some mechanical problems on the way home, but Jim made quick work of fixing it, and he had it back on the road in no time. Since they purchased the trash truck, Jim and Sue no longer had to rely on another company to remove the garbage collected from the parks. This allowed them to expand their coverage area and provide more reliable service.

It wasn’t long before local residents started requesting pickup at their homes. At first, Jim and Sue declined, but as the requests kept coming in, it was obvious that this area needed a reliable curb-side garbage collection service. So, in late 1993 Sue decided to start the first residential pickup route. At that time, the driver would pick up the garbage from the customer’s home and bring it back to the S & S facility to be sorted. The recyclable materials were removed before the garbage was taken to the landfill. It quickly became clear that this method would greatly reduce the amount of waste taken to local landfills.

Customers were glad to have a convenient way to recycle, and the word spread quickly that curb-side collection service was available. Soon, people began calling to ask about the ‘Sue’s Recycling’ program. The name wasn’t fancy, but it stuck. Sue kept accepting new customers over the next few months, and she decided to officially operate with the name ‘Sue’s Recycling’.

In December 1993, Sue’s full-time employer (Kerr-McGee, later renamed Sequoyah Fuels) closed unexpectedly leaving her without a job. After 16 years of employment there, this was a shock, but Sue decided to use this opportunity to focus her attention on expanding her new business. She and Jim continued to accept new customers and look for more ways to provide service to their clients. Over the next couple of years, operating Sue’s Recycling became a full-time effort, so Jim and Sue decided to stop renewing their contracts with the Corp of Engineers. Eventually, all the Corp contracts were completed, and the ‘S & S Contractors’ name was officially retired.

The next several years brought a lot of progress. Jim and Sue continued to acquire new equipment and personnel to expand their service area. Soon Sue’s began to offer commercial service to local businesses, roll-off containers for construction and demolition sites, and industrial service for factories and warehouses.

Today, Sue’s has grown to serve customers in 16 counties across eastern Oklahoma, operate two transfer station locations, and provide customers with a wide variety of service options. Sue’s is proud to partner with many local area governments and volunteer organizations to lead community clean-up projects and has been honored by the Department of Transportation and the State of Oklahoma for eight consecutive years for its efforts and participation in the state-wide “Trash Off” event held annually in April.

The Sue’s team is proud to serve eastern Oklahoma and hopes to continue providing customers with reliable and affordable service for many years to come.

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