In the Spotlight: Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse: Uniquely Responsive

Continuing to grow at a steady pace and focused on building a stronger company, Gainsborough Waste prides itself on giving back to the community while keeping up with operations effectively and efficiently, and training employees in advance of anticipated growth.

Gainsborough Waste (Houston, TX) was established in 1994, specializing in waste removal through roll-off dumpsters. After graduating from Texas A&M in 1987, Noble Carl, President of Gainsborough Waste, moved to the Virginia area to work in commercial construction before joining his father to run Carl Construction back in Houston. The process to remove construction debris from his high-end residential jobsites was unreliable and inefficient at best, so Noble took it upon himself to come up with a better way to get the job done—and the Gainsborough Waste concept was born. He started off servicing his own jobsites with a converted old Montalbano Lumber truck and 15 containers and was able to quickly grow the business to other contractors through word-of-mouth.

Today, Gainsborough Waste is one of the largest waste removal companies in the Greater Houston area, with a focus on separating wood, cardboard and metal at their original transfer station west of Houston and the newest facility at company headquarters east of downtown Houston. They currently service Harris County, where the company is based in the city of Houston, as well as the eight surrounding counties (Montgomery, Waller, Galveston, Grimes, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Wharton and Liberty). Since its inception, the company has grown to approximately 150 employees, many of whom also work for Texas Outhouse, Gainsborough Waste’s affiliated company. Total fleet size between the two companies is about 265 units, consisting of trucks, trailers and other heavy units.

Building on Strategies

Noble Carl says, “The economy influences the building market, which, in turn, impacts what we do with construction. There has been an uptick in business since Hurricane Harvey swept through the region in August 2017 due to the massive cleanup efforts and subsequent revitalization of the area. Long term, we have also positioned ourselves with more permanent work to fill in slow times that may occur between busy construction periods. This includes municipality and government work.”

Gainsborough Waste opened a new transfer station, mentioned previously, in April 2018. “We decided a few years ago that our existing transfer station was reaching capacity, and our management team determined that we needed to develop another facility in order to handle business growth,” says Donna Hunt, Chief Financial Officer. Working by yardage between the two facilities, around 3,500 yards a day on average with construction waste only, Hunt feels that the convenience of the two transfer station locations will be welcomed by outside haulers looking for a closer facility for disposal.

Texas Outhouse’s wastewater treatment plant was opened in September 2017. The plant is located onsite at the main office east of downtown Houston. The plant was designed by Wastewater Technologies and was built to treat the company’s specific waste stream—treating the water so that it can be recycled into their outgoing portable toilets. “We needed a way to deal with our large waste volume customers, giving them 24-hour access for disposal. The wastewater treatment plant gives us the capacity to process 50,000 gallons per day,” says Operations Manager Jason Odom. When he came to the rest of the management team suggesting an implementation of a treatment plant, Paul Carl, President of Texas Outhouse, contacted the PSAI (Portable Sanitation Association International), who got them in touch with Waste Water Technologies, and the ball began to roll from there. Now, Texas Outhouse treats the wastewater biologically with microorganisms and air, while bugs eat the waste and the leftover sludge is disposed.

Creating a Positive Company Culture

Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse’s training program includes performing pre-employment education through training videos and a review of the company handbook. Once per year, all of the drivers go through defensive driving held by the company’s insurance provider, Zurich Insurance. Training Coordinator, Ryan D’Souza coordinates all of the training, keeps up with the scheduling and makes sure that the companies stay in compliance. New drivers are paired with more experienced drivers and travel with them on their routes for about three weeks to learn the ropes before going out on their own.

The company’s Safety Coordinator, David Sorrell makes sure Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse also actively follow and strictly enforce OSHA and Department of Transportation industry standards. “We have a new computer system that we use for continuing driver training and shop training. We also have bi-weekly toolbox safety meetings. We’ve focused on creating a safety culture where nobody gets hurt; that’s our goal,” says Odom.

Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse have four full time mechanics on staff, two full time tire guys, a shop supervisor, one administrator, and Sorrell, who handles overall maintenance operations. With an advanced maintenance program, the company has implemented all of the latest and greatest software for their trucks, including Dossier. Odom points out, “Our trucks are serviced based on hours instead of mileage. We service more than what is required, due to how rough Houston roads and traffic can be on our vehicles.”

Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse are proud to give back to the community. “We just like to reach out to the community and be a part of it as much as we can,” says Karen Dunlap, Major Account Executive. The companies sponsor the League City Music Festival, which raises money for the Shriners, participates in the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo, donates to the Lion’s Club, supports Camp Hope and is part of the Texas Area First Responders cookoff event every year. The companies also do a lot of stuff for kids behind the scenes such as providing sponsorships and participating in other functions. “Kids are the future!” says Odom.

Building Stronger Companies

Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse have experienced their share of driver shortages—an industry-wide problem. “Many people don’t realize that there are opportunities in the waste industry that pay really well. We are expanding our recruiting approach to try hiring additional qualified drivers and other staff using employment Web sites and temp agencies,” explains Odom.

Although keeping up with the companies’ growth as well as hiring and training the right people will continue to be a challenge, Odom points out that they keep up with operations effectively and efficiently, and always try to keep people trained in advance of anticipated growth. “We work a lot of overtime and pride ourselves on customer service and being uniquely responsive. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, we answer the phone and solve problems. Everyone that works here—from the owners to the yard guys—is responsible for taking care of our customers.”

Gainsborough Waste continues to grow at a steady pace and is focused on building a stronger company. Says Noble Carl, “Whether it is waste, stress or hassle, our can-do approach removes things you would rather live without. Our goal for this company is to be efficient, dependable, reliable and prompt, and we wake up every day trying to be these things for our customers.”

For more  information, call (713) 785-8050 or visit www.gainsboroughwaste.com.

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