Perhaps you know them from the many events and organizations they sponsor: Big Chili Cook-Off, the Dam Ducky Derby, the Turkey Trot, Park County Fair, Platte Canyon Little League, and local high school baseball and football teams just to name a few. Maybe you recognize the name of so necessary a service that it is woven into the vocabulary of everyday mountain life, passed around as the hottest recommendation for your household maintenance. Or you’ve at least spotted that iconic bee logo—noticeable, memorable and recognizable on the sides of trucks rolling through town.
That bee logo, nicknamed “honey dipper,” a nod to the outhouse tools of yore and the odd accumulation of bees around septic tanks, actually has a bigger story than just an easy-to-spot icon. It was designed by Tamme Hodge, a member of the Shirley family. The Shirleys and their well-known business, Shirley Septic and SSP Waste, has a rich history with deep roots in the Evergreen and surrounding mountain area. The Shirleys’ business has been serving the local community—and not just with a highly successful business model, but with a spirit to dive in, give back and be a part—for 50 years. They are the go-to company for septic services and maintenance, portable restrooms and trash removal.
It’s miraculous for a community to claim a hometown business for half a century; even more so to know that Shirley Septic has been family-run since its inception. Established in 1972 by Ed Shirley, the business has been owned and operated by three generations of Shirleys, employing numerous other family members along the way. “I remember answering the phone, ‘Shirley Septic Pumping,’ from our house on a party phone line,” says Adam Shirley. In 1997, he and his brother, Josh, purchased the business from their grandfather. They have not only run the business since, but have grown it to include the SSP Waste department and tens of thousands of customers across the mountain communities.
“We started the trash service in January of 2019, and it’s been an amazing adventure watching it grow,” says Josh. “We started with about 480 customers, and now it’s well over 10,000,” adds Adam. The growth of SSP Waste was so monumental that the Shirleys brought in Doug Atkinson as a partner. “Doug took over the septic services,” explains Adam, mentioning that Shirley Septic and SSP Waste are always looking for local help, especially CDL drivers. It is steady, important work for a company that values its employees. Josh says, “We care about our staff here. We’re family-owned and we believe family first—but we treat everyone like family.”
Counting up all the relatives of the Shirley family, they’ve been in Colorado for over 100 years, many of them in the mountain area. In fact, the Hodges—including Tamme, the bee logo artist—have operated Hodge Plumbing and Piping out of Evergreen for over 30 years. Surrounded by extended family, Adam and Josh grew up in the Evergreen area and have enjoyed watching it transform. They are conscientiously invested in the community, hiring and shopping locally whenever possible. “We care about our community and about those we get the opportunity to work with. We use local vendors whenever possible—if you have a business up here, we do our best to buy from you,” says Josh. “We’re neighbors serving neighbors.”
Shirley Septic and SSP Waste serves the greater mountain area communities, including Evergreen, Genesee, Conifer, Bailey, Pine and into Park County, with septic services, trash removal, portable restrooms and roll-off dumpsters for both residential and commercial locations. To learn more, call 303.838.6033 or visit shirleyseptic.com.