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One man’s trash is another man’s gold


They say not all that glitters is gold, but Toxfree Solutions is proving that there is gold to be mined in that which glitters not.

The firm is one of Australia’s leading integrated waste management and industrial service providers, providing waste management solutions for all types of waste including commercial, household, industrial, construction and hazardous waste.

Established in 2000, Toxfree has grown substantially since through acquisitions, new green-field developments and the organic growth of its existing businesses. With over 30 facilities nationally and over 800 employees, Toxfree currently services over 20,000 customers nationally, including some of Australia’s leading businesses and government organisations throughout Australia.

What factors are behind Toxfree’s growth?

“The good thing with the waste management industry is waste is produced across all sectors. We have really tailored our waste management strategy so we can manage any type of waste that our customers provide,” says Steve Gostlow, Managing Director.

The ability to provide one-stop-shop waste management solutions across a broad range of industries has put the company in good position for future growth. This has seen demand for its waste management grow rapidly since many companies are increasingly looking for one firm that can provide all its waste services in-house rather than having to find multiple sub-contractors.

Toxfree’s growth is also a result of several drivers, both environmental and government led. Firstly, a lot of large firms are looking to operate more sustainably as part of their socio-economic responsibility and secondly, the cost of traditional waste disposal has increased.

For example, in some instances it is becoming more expensive to put waste into landfill to recycle or treat it hence putting Toxfree in a strategic position, especially in attracting large blue chip companies. It also offers detailed waste tracking, which provides its customers with accurate real-time breakdowns of how much waste they are producing.

“In-house we developed a waste tracking and forwarding system that we are extremely proud of called ‘Wastefree’. It is a real time waste tracking system where customers can obtain information on how their waste is being managed from the point of collection through to disposal.”

“Each month we generate a client specific invoice designed specifically to meet their individual needs.  We are able to provide a breakdown of costs and waste disposal information for each of their relevant departments if necessary.”

“We provide them with information on, how much has been recycled, how much has been reused, how much has been incinerated or treated through our liquid waste treatment facility or gone to landfill, so we can provide very up-to-date, quick information for our customers, which provides them with accountability on the surface, but also means they can recount their sustainability objectives to their relevant boards and senior management,” says Gostlow.

How does Toxfree handle its employees?

Young and dynamic as a company, Toxfree has grown quite rapidly and has created a lot of opportunity for its employees. Gostlow explains, “We have a very diverse range of people and skills across the business from engineers to technical employees to safety managers, finance managers and administrators. As we grow, more opportunities have developed for people in the business”

“I take great pride seeing supervisors and senior managers who have worked their way up through the ranks and are now leading the business in separate regions or leading some of the biggest contracts we have around Australia.”

“We like to promote from within and we encourage all employees to have their say on how we can improve the company and its services.  It’s because of this that I think we have a very good culture and consequently a very good retention rate,” Mr Gostlow adds.

Toxfree is also keen to ensure all employees have a positive, and most importantly safe working environment. The company’s safety mantra is ‘Harmfree’ and has a very strong ‘stop work’ authority. What this means is that if an employee sees something unsafe, they have the right over anyone in the business to stop work and rectify the issue or bring it to the attention of management.

Alongside reactive measures, the company also works proactively to prevent health or safety issues in the workplace. It employs a team of health and safety executives who provide training across all of the sites, present detailed induction programmes and test employees to ensure everybody on site is up to standard from a safety perspective.

On occasion, customers also ask that Toxfree employees are trained specifically to their requirements and the company supports this entirely. “Training and safety is really ingrained as part of our business, it’s not something that we have to prioritise, we just don’t accept anything less,” states Gostlow.

As it turns out, there’s gold in them there piles of rubbish.

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