Our Story

Copes Rubbish Removal is a local, family owned and operated business with more than 80 years of experience in servicing customers in Watertown, Oakville and surrounding communities. The business was started by Joseph Copes in 1930 and is now represented by the fourth generation of the Copes Family. In simpler days in rural and small town Connecticut, householders generally had very little to waste, and it was sound husbandry that edible refuse be fed to commercially raised pigs. Part of a farmer’s lot was to locate and transport a steady source of fresh garbage to feed his animals, and his success with the primary enterprise was largely dependent upon his effectiveness as a waste manager. Such a farmer was Joseph Copes, who developed a mutually beneficial relationship with several Waterbury restaurants to remove their kitchen and table scraps to feed his pigs on the farm he rented from Fletcher Judson on Echo Lake Road in Watertown in the 1920′s and 1930′s.

Joe’s reputation for reliability and efficiency, sparked by his affable personality, caused him to be sought by wealthy families of Watertown to dispose of their waste for a fee, a luxury service that the average homeowner had not yet come to require. The original customers were the Heminways, the Chases, the Barletts and the Perrys, Watertown’s elite. The rubbish business expanded to the point that Joe hired a helper for the route. Typical practice of the time was for each family to bury or compost food scraps, to burn paper trash, and to store tins and broken or unwanted glass toward occasional trips to the town dump. It is a fact that a family of the new millennium can generate a volume of rubbish with one fast food meal that would rival a week’s accumulation in 1925, but the socio-economic trends were driving toward that “progress,” as cheaper and more widely available commercially prepared and preserved foodstuffs altered domestic ecology in short decades. The accelerating quantity of waste being generated came to demand an entire industry to deal with it. Still a farmer at heart, Joe Copes started Copes Rubbish Removal as a business in Watertown in 1930.

As we approach our 85th year as a local business, Copes Rubbish Removal thanks our customers for their continued support. We look forward to providing quality service in the years to come.