From left to right: Kristina Duong, David Duong, and Victor Duong.
California Waste Solutions (CWS) is doing all it can to vacate its current location in West Oakland, which is surrounded by residential properties, and move to the Oakland Army base, allowing them space to expand their existing operations.
The growing recycling company is among the largest in Northern California and is consistently ranked as one of the top companies of its kind, nation-wide by Waste Age Magazine.
The new plant is scheduled to be a state-of-the -art 12- acre facility, built at the Army base.
Negotiations between CWS and the City of Oakland have been jump-started to facilitate a fast-tracked departure from the company’s two current locations in West Oakland.
Jackie Nelson, a West Oakland resident, says is looking forward to CWS’ departure from the neighborhood. “We hope they will continue to hire Oakland residents and the those who were formerly incarcerated,” she said.
CWS is a minority business owned by the Duong family from Vietnam. They barely escaped the ravages of the Vietnam War on a small boat in 1977 after losing the family’s paper mill.
David, the eldest of the seven Duong children, was 16 years old when the family left Saigon with only the clothes on their backs.
After spending nearly two years in a refugee camp in the Philippines, they arrived in San Francisco. The 16-member Duong family squeezed into two small studio apartments.
At 19, David and his siblings collected recyclables every night for three years after school and saved enough to purchase their first warehouse.
Today, CWS employs more than 300 people at Oakland and San Jose locations.
“Community is the core of our business. We’re committed to providing exceptional service to our customers, and we must continuously invest in the communities we serve,” said Duong.
Rev. Ken Chambers, pastor of West End Baptist Church, near the business, said he wants to work with the Duong family to find gainful employment for West Oakland residents.
They also own and operate an integrated waste management facility in Vietnam—Vietnam Waste Solutions—which manages solid waste collection, landfills, recycling and composting for the entire country.