CEO breakfast kicks off 2022 Waste & Recycling Show

The CEOS of two Canadian waste management firms took to the stage on September 27th and shared their views on the state of the industry.

A sold out audience of more than 150 waste professionals took in the fireside chat, moderated by Waste & Recycling editor Emily Atkins.

Patrick Dovigi of GFL Environmental and Danny Ardellini of E360S said the shortage of labour is by far the biggest challenge they are facing at the moment. And it’s not just drivers, technicians and staff for MRFs are difficult to find and keep.

Dovigi said GFL has 40 recruiters out trying to attract talent, and both he and Ardellni are focused on trying to increase the number of women working in the WM industry. Getting people to stay is about culture and working conditions, more than pay and benefits, Dovigi said.

Supply chain issues also complicate the business, Ardellini said. The inability to get new truck in a timely manner thanks to chip shortages and manufacturing delays causes costs to mount as trucks near their end of life require more repairs and spare parts that are also hard to find.

The increasing complexity of what used to be a simple business, with more regulation, paperwork and the need to navigate financial markets has pushed many smaller, family-run WM firms to the brink Ardellini said. The typical owner is in his 60s without a succession plan. This leaves the door open for acquisitions, which Ardellini confirmed continues to be E360S;’s expansion strategy.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the two CEOs talked about the influence of inflationary cost pressures on their businesses and mentioned that a recession might be welcome at this point. They also touched on the increasing complexity of the requirements for bidding on municipal contracts and how environmental social and governance (ESG) goals set by clients mean higher prices for services.

CWRE 2022 continues until the end of day on September 28th. For more information on the program click here.