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Varner Bros, Inc. (VBI) is dedicated to improving our community and our industry by providing professional services based on strong moral and ethical standards. These standards not only define how we conduct business, but also our commitment to our customers, vendors, and employees. Varner Bros, Inc. since 1938.
In 1938, a recession hit the United States; minimum wage was raised to 40 cents an hour (for a 44 hour work week); and ballpoint pens hit the market. It was that same year, that two industrious Varner brothers opened a family business.
In the midst’ of a 19% nationwide unemployment rate, Pat and Claude Varner established the first trash hauling operation under Varner management. Brothers Skeet and Bill signed on to work on the route. This initial business targeted customers in East Bakersfield.
One year later Claude, Bill and Skeet started a separate business - Independent Sanitation. This new trash hauling company served the Bakersfield areas of Oildale and La Cresta. The operation was run out of Bill’s home on Jenkins Road.
In 1941 however, the United States Navy drafted Bill to fight in World War II. Skeet completed his sophomore year in High School but quits to run the business. While Bill is in the military, Independent Sanitation moves to Washington Street. The new location can more easily accommodate trucks and supplies.
The U.S. Army struck in 1944. This time, Skeet is drafted leaving Claude to continue operations. In 1945, Claude sells the La Cresta Routes to brother Otis. Otis calls his company Independent Sanitation.
Eventually the war ends, Bill and Skeet come home to continue work in refuse hauling.
Two yeas later, in 1948 Bob Varner starts his own trash company serving the Highland Park area, north of Oildale. Bob calls his company (you guessed it) Independent Sanitation.
The 1950’s found the United States in an upswing. The war was over and the Baby Boomers were born. This was also a time of great affluence after the depression years and the World Wars. Consumerism took off in a big way which in turn created jobs, wealth and consumer spending.
A result, of the increase in expendable income, was the growing need for trash services. In 1952, John Varner joined brothers Claude, Bill and Skeet in the garbage business. This time a formal partnership was formed and Varner Brothers was created.
The industry grew along with the population. By 1957, there are 38 waste hauling firms in the Metropolitan Bakersfield (Zone 2) area. Due to the growth the need for County franchise areas became evident. John and Skeet Varner are instrumental in the development of the Franchise system. Working with County Council and the Health Department, the team established rules, regulations and rates.
At the same time, the Rubbish Association of Kern County was formed. Claude Varner was elected as the first President. John Varner was crucial in bringing unity to the Association as he worked with both the haulers and the County to solve differences. The base rate, for a single family unit, was set a $1.50. (This was the same price charged in 1952 when Varner Brothers was first formed.)
In 1958, the property at 1808 Roberts Lane, the current location of the Varner Brothers franchise, was purchased. That same year, Packer Trucks (rear loading trash trucks) were introduced. Two years later Front Loading trucks and commercial bins hit the streets “Packers”, and “Front Loaders” changed the way haulers picked up trash - forever.
In 1963, tragedy struck the Varner family with the death of brother Claude as the result of a train accident.
During the mid-sixties, the burning of trash became illegal in Kern County. This measure increased business for waste haulers due to the fact that backyard burners could no longer operate. In that same year, roll-off trucks and bins became operational. This innovation gave haulers another waste management tool to more effectively service the customers of Kern.
The seventies marked the final moves which consolidated the companies under Varner Brothers' management. Beginning in 1970, Bob Varner’s firm, Independent Sanitation, joined Claude, Bill and Skeet. This move created the corporation of Varner Bros., Inc.
In 1971, Vernon Varner joined the VBI team. In 1972, Otis Varner sold his firm, Independent Sanitation, to the growing VBI corporation.