Wayne Stalie, an Equipment Maintenance Supervisor at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison (SATF), recently received a Merit Award for his suggestion to share trash removal costs and services between SATF and nearby California State Prison, Corcoran (COR).

The Merit Award program was established by the California Legislature in 1950 as a cash incentive award system to recognize an employee’s contribution to savings for state government.

Stalie said a memorandum he received from the City of Corcoran announcing a new 10-year contract and substantial rate increases inspired his idea for SATF and COR.

“Since 1998, I had been the Recycle Coordinator at SATF and the idea to provide our own self-haul trash service was a plan of mine for the last six years,” he said.

Stalie aggressively pursued the idea with the City of Corcoran’s Public Works Director, according to Stalie’s supervisor at the time, Correctional Business Manager Norm Smith (now retired). Since implementation of Stalie’s suggestion in 2005, the two institutions have continued to save money with this resourceful suggestion.

As a result of Stalie’s efforts, the City of Corcoran allowed SATF and COR to opt out of municipal trash removal services and instead use institution staff and vehicles to haul trash to the local landfill.  This suggestion saved SATF and COR approximately over $400,000 the first year, despite initial truck and trash bin costs, a new truck driver position, fuel and maintenance costs, and landfill fees.

Stalie submitted his suggestion to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Employee Suggestion Program soon after implementation in 2005.  The recommended award required California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Merit Award Board recommendation, CalHR Director approval, and a legislative concurrent resolution to authorize payment of the monetary award.