10 MINUTES WITH: Guy Cherry, the Managing Director of GPT Waste Management.
1.How did you get into the Waste Management Industry?
I joined my father in 1990 in the scrap tyre market place; the focus being to clear garages up and down the country of old tyres and extract a value from any that could be reused either as casings for remoulding or part worn tyres for countries whose access to remoulds or new tyres was limited.
2. What roles were you doing before, and how did they prepare you for this one?
Working with my dad and two other guys handling a significant number of tyres a week meant it was all hands-on deck. It was a market that relied on ability and instinct and was incredibly competitive. One moment you could be loading a farm trailer with scrap for a silage clamp and the next shipping trailer loads of profile tyres to a French agent distributing to Sierra Leone, Martinique, the Ivory Coast and others. When I finished working in the sector, I took a job working for a waste brokerage travelling the length and breadth of the UK as a project manager for three years. Both experiences gave me a sound understanding of the waste industry and the vicissitudes of human nature.
3. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Undoubtedly GPT and everything it represents. It’s an amalgamation of my 26 years of experience, as well as those working in the business, in an incredibly dynamic sector and working alongside a wide variety of clients and suppliers.
4. It has been said that waste handling is creating a burden for businesses, why is this?
Because of changes in legislation and challenges in the global commodity sector, clients undoubtedly would have observed a lot of change in waste handling processes and some of this uncertainty remains. Ultimately GPT’s position is to reduce wastefulness and therefore waste itself and all associated costs; one would hope that the burden of operating in a changing market is softened as a direct result of savings achieved through overall waste reduction; certainly this is our experience.
5. Is waste now the fourth Utility?
It’s on its way. From a commercial perspective, waste has sat on balance sheets for a number of years. As companies have got closer to the detail, through general cost management and austerity, its focused attitudes to gain a better understanding. Like all utilities, it’s about only paying for that that you need. Again this is where our advice and processes have supported our clients significantly over the years.
6. Why is the ‘circular economy’ such a hot topic lately?
There can be no doubting that items are becoming obsolete quicker, and that consumerism is fuelling the desire for “the next thing”. Waste is no longer just an item that can’t be reused but more one that has been superseded and subsequently discarded. The circular economy therefore has a significant part to play in the reduction of waste and both the environmental burden and overall costs associated with waste disposal.
7. What is the most important step businesses should take in terms of waste management?
Regularly review process’s and maintain a good understanding of what waste is being produced and how. With engagement with companies such as GPT, they can use this knowledge to potentially reduce volume and cost.
8. What is your vision for GPT Waste Management?
To continue to grow and develop through existing and new client engagement.
9.Over the past 13 years GPT Waste has gone from strength to strength, what do you attribute this to?
We have built strong relationships based on robust, compliant, recommendations and overall cost management. All of this done by a dynamic and motivated team that understands our market place and the needs of our clients.
10. If you could go back to the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?
I’m not too sure I’d try and advise the younger me on anything and, even if I could, I’m not too sure he’d listen!
11. Football, rugby, golf or gardening? Which one is more likely to keep you busy at the weekends.
Family needs come first and where it encompasses any of the above, I consider that a bonus, except gardening!
12. At the bar – what are you drinking?
Don’t mind. Anything goes.
At GPT Waste we remain flexible in an ever-changing market which has allowed us to develop into the UK’s leading independent provider of waste management solutions across the UK.
By identifying, redefining, and reducing the process to dispose of your waste, cost savings will be generated consistently and sustainability.
To find out how we can help your business manage waste more effectively for less phone 0844 854 5000 or email us.