One of the country’s largest waste service companies is in the process of buying Tehachapi-based Benz Sanitation Inc. and its two sister companies, Tehachapi Recycling Inc. and Benz Propane Co. Inc.

The buyer, Houston-based Waste Management Inc., said Monday it expects the sale to close Aug. 1, which is the same date Benz told local authorities last week it plans to lay off 132 employees spread across eight locations in Tehachapi, Ridgecrest and Rosamond.

Waste Management’s Southern California communications manager, Eloisa Orozco, said the company plans to retain “a majority if not all of the employees” let go by Benz. She added Benz’s owners plan to retire.

A message left with Benz’s general manager was not immediately returned Monday.

Benz’s website said the company offers commercial and residential waste collection, document shredding, construction services, portable toilets, septic tank pumping and propane services.

Waste Management operates in Ridgecrest and California City but nowhere else in Kern, Orozco said. The company says it is North America’s largest waste services provider and largest recycler.

“This is an exciting thing for us to be able to continue in our legacy to give great service to our customers in Kern,” she said. “This ... is going to be a great opportunity for us to continue providing quality services and just expanding the services we'll be able to offer.”

While it’s too early to say what effect the transaction will have on customers, Orozco said, the transition will be “seamless.”

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