One person’s problem, is another person’s opportunity to start a business.

The adage rings true, at least for Rick Hilgert, founder of Strategic Sanitation Services, Inc. In 2007, Rick noticed a continual trash problem at a large residential community managed by his wife. The inefficiency of trash pick-up was causing the community to lose curb appeal and money.

Rick saw the problem as an opportunity. After assessing the situation, he found that some bins were only partially filled, while others were overflowing. He noted that the trash enclosures would remain messy, even after the trash hauler had picked up. He also saw old furniture and mattresses strewn about in the enclosures. The community was in desperate need of a cleanup. Rick determined its three main problems: inefficient trash distribution, untidy enclosures and large, bulky items. His solution to these problems was the beginning of Strategic’s Waste OptimizationTM Plan.

Strategic began providing several communities with trained crews that would clean, repack and redistribute trash and recycling on a weekly basis, as well as pick up any large items cluttering the enclosures. Our team of specialists worked with the trash hauler companies to “right-size” communities’ hauler services, so that communities didn’t have to pay for more than they needed. With these new services, the communities reduced the number of trash bins, cut frequency and cost of trash pick-up and saved significantly.

In 2009, Steven Reyes joined the company as a partner and quickly began expanding the number of communities Strategic worked with. Over the years, Steven’s strategic planning and execution continued to grow the company with new customers, team members and services. Today, Rick and Steve serve the company as advisors and principals, using their insight for the future vision of the company.

Strategic Sanitation Services, Inc. now services over 250 communities in Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego using our Waste OptimizationTM Plan. Strategic aims to care for communities and the environment. We do this by keeping residential complexes looking beautiful and implementing responsible waste control and recycling practices with Respectful, Reliable and Responsible service.

Our First Logo
Our first logo
Rick Hilgert

Rick Hilgert

Principal & Founder

Prior to Strategic, Rick was the founder and president of Reliable Electronic Manufacturing, Inc., where he developed two patented proprietary electronic processes. He was also a member of investment firm of Global Resource Investments, conducting research, analysis and investments in companies in the extractive industries. This led him to become acutely aware of the limited supply of natural resources. His mission in business is to develop ecologically responsible programs designed to minimize the damage to our environment. Rick launched Strategic Sanitation Services, Inc. to address community trash issues and develop green solutions.

Steven Reyes

Steven Reyes


Steven Reyes is a seasoned businessman with a very successful track record in business startups, turnarounds and technology firms. In 2002, Steven established BridgeTech LLC, a management consulting company and offered services in strategic planning, technology implementation, internet marketing and operations. Steven has a Bachelors degree in Business Management from California State University, Fullerton. His business experience is reflected in the Strategic’s strong growth record and excellent reputation in the industry.