Our Company | RW Collins Co.

Our Company


RW Collins Co. is Chicago and the Midwest’s leading environmental contractor for clients in need of quality site preparation and remediation work.

  • Third-generation owned and certified Women-owned business (WBE) in State of Illinois and City of Chicago
  • Clients include: engineering firms, real estate developers, oil & gas companies, utilities, construction firms, municipalities, and government agencies
  • Service throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes region
  • Over 75 years of experience in excavation
  • Extensive modern equipment fleet for a wide range of services


Robert W. Collins founded RW Collins Co. in 1946 amid the growing need for underground tank installations in Chicago’s rapidly expanding neighborhoods and suburbs. Throughout the past 70 years we’ve expanded our expertise to a much wider array of excavation services.

The entrepreneurial spirit and deep care exhibited by our founder are the foundation of RW Collins culture. We believe in safely getting the job done right, the first time. Today we are the Midwest’s leading environmental contractor for soil remediation and excavation services, with one of the most versatile capable and equipment fleets in the industry.

We help commercial and residential property owners in Chicago the Midwest with excavation, environmental, soil-remediation and underground tank removal services.

We are a third-generation, family-owned, and Illinois-based environmental contractor certified as a Women-Owned Business by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.




U.S. Navy Seabee in WWII, Robert W. “Bob” Collins constructed bridges and cleared jungle land for roads and runways in Okinawa and the Pacific.



Following his service as a U.S. Navy Seabee, Bob Collins began his career as an excavating contractor in Chicago.

1950s - 1960s

1950s – 1960s

With the rush to build new gas stations, RW Collins establishes itself as an underground tank contractor. Our signature machine of this era was the Bucyrus Erie 15-B cable backhoe (A restored antique is now displayed outside of our offices!).



1970s Bucryrus Erie

The company moved to our current office and shop location, and the second generation of the family joined the business.

1980s - 1990s

1980s – 1990s

1990s tank installation

With the rapid growth of environmental awareness and regulation, tank removals and contaminated soil cleanups surge.

2000s - 2010s

2000s – 2010s

MGP Site Remediation

Major long-term projects, particularly MGP sites, become our dominant market segment.

2010 - Present

2010 – Present


RW Collins expands to the wider Midwest region; The third generation of the family enters the company.

Case Studies

  • environmental remediation case study

    Environmental Remediation – Chicago (Pilsen)

  • Excavation Services

    Excavation Site – Chicago (Harvest Homes)