The association started in 1954 and was the brainchild of Dempster Corporation, which at the time, was the only container equipment manufacturer in the market.
The first meeting consisted of a group of six men in the waste hauling industry who began discussing the idea of forming an association to improve techniques in waste collection, in particular, by using detachable containers. After two years of informal discussions, and with three of the initial six founders committing their own seed money to the association, DCA was officially formed in 1954.
Its primary mission is to promote education and establish ways to improve the waste industry and the productivity of its members. DCA is noted for advancing modern containerized collection and helping to facilitate numerous waste industry developments.
DCA members decided they needed a voice in Washington, and four of the members put up the money to form the National Solid Waste Management Association (NSWMA). Thus WasteExpo was created.
Today, the DCA's membership roster, which includes approximately 140 members, reads like a Who's Who of the waste management industry. Membership is by invitation only, and only senior executive level candidates are considered.
The association meets twice a year: a Winter Meeting held sometime in January – March and at the WasteExpo national convention held sometime between April and June.
William Dempster with "detachable container"