On January 26, 2023, Carlos De Leon (second from the right) parked his Athens collection truck for the very last time. After 38 years of dedicated service, Carlos officially retired from his route in the City of West Covina. While working at one organization for nearly four decades is an extraordinary feat in and of itself, what is even more remarkable is the legacy that the De Leon family is building at Athens.
The journey of the De Leon family began well before Carlos drove his first collection truck in 1985. In October 1978, his older brother Raul “Raulito” De Leon (second from the left) took a job hauling waste in the City of Covina with what was then Athens Disposal. Inspired by the career that his brother had started to build for himself, Carlos soon joined the team.
When reflecting back on their careers, what Raulito and Carlos are most proud of is not their own accomplishments, but that their sons, Raul Jr. (on the left) and Arturo (on the right), have followed in their footsteps and have even taken over their former collection routes in the San Gabriel Valley.
“It means a lot that they have been here for such a long time,” said Arturo. “Athens has treated them well and it shows with how hard they work. They taught us the same thing, to be responsible and carry on what they do.”
Having multiple generations working at the same company is atypical in the industry, but it is a testament to Athens’ people-first culture and dedication to family values.
“This is not an easy job and certainly not for everyone, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Carlos. “I am thankful for the opportunity that Athens gave me, my son, and our entire family.”
The De Leon family is just one example of Athens’ commitment to its team members. For more than 60 years, Athens has been family-owned and operated. Today, we continue to uphold our founding principles by providing exceptional service, hiring and developing great people, and fostering a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment. This is The Athens Way.
Thank you, Carlos, for all your years of dedicated service. From the entire Athens family, we wish you a happy and well-deserved retirement.