Hambro exec gives assurance

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate October 29, 2012 05:15 pm

After Hambro Group dismantled its Crescent City particle board plant in September, the local rumor mill started churning out word that all companies under the Hambro Group umbrella might soon disappear.

The speculation was widespread enough to prompt a public agency that contracts with Hambro for operation of the transfer station and garbage hauling to ask for an explanation from CEO Wes White.

He told the board of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority this week that, although Hambro‚ÄąGroup is “reinventing” itself, no matter what happens, “You will have a hauler.”

“We fully intend on operating (Waste Solutions Group, the Hambro company contracted by the solid waste authority) well into the future in the same way we have for the last eight years,” White said.

Hambro Group sold its Crescent City particle board plant, Hambro Forest Products, and dismantled its equipment in September. The particle board industry is in dire straits with a sharp drop in new house-starts in the last six years, White said. Hambro Group also closed particle board plants in Arcata and North Carolina in December.

White assured authority board members that Waste Solutions Group is economically healthy, could stand on its own and “will continue to be a valuable portion of the reinvented group of Hambro companies.”

White did mention three Hambro companies that may not exist in the same capacity in Hambro’s future.

Resource Recovery Solutions   “does not have the cash flow we anticipated that it would” and therefore will be dissolved, although  certain services could remain consolidated under the Hambro banner, White said.

There has been some interest in the sale of Snoozie Shavings, Hambro’s trucking company, which is contracted by WSG to haul the county’s garbage to a landfill near Medford, Ore.  Whether or not Snoozie Shavings is sold, WSG will have a trucking company for the county’s garbage, White said in a telephone interview Friday.

There has also been interest in the purchase of Eco-Nutrients, a Hambro company specializing in creating organic fertilizer from fish waste, which has seen increased sales in recent years, White said.

Eco-Nutrients is a valuable service for fish processors since they  can sell their fish waste to the company for pennies per pound instead of paying to dispose of it.

“It would be unfortunate if we didn’t have Eco-Nutrients. I’m hoping it’s a viable business and that they can operate it or someone else can operate it,” said Crescent City Harbormaster/CEO Richard Young.

Eco-Nutrients general manager Kirk Sparks said the business has stayed strong through the prolonged recession, carried by the popularity of organic farming. The current interested buyer would continue to keep the business open and available to processors in Crescent City Harbor, Sparks said.

White offered to return to the  authority board in November to continue to update the board on the status of Hambro Group, but said that he couldn’t comment further on developments that have “not been etched in stone at this point.”

“There will be more changes and you’ll hear about that, but I just can’t talk about it right now,” he said.

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