How one man and his tanker started a UK waste management success story
One of the UK’s oldest waste management companies is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.
Cleansing Service Group (CSG), which has its headquarters in Fareham, was founded in 1934 by a Hampshire man, Bunny Hart, who went into business emptying cesspits in the Southampton area.
He invested in a £5 second hand 30-cwt, solid-tyred 800-gallon Dennis tanker, made some modifications, had the words Hampshire Cleansing Service painted on the side of it, and based the business in the village of Botley.
Eighty years on, the now Cleansing Service Group has become the second largest privately-owned industrial and domestic environmental waste management group in Britain, operating from 22 sites stretching from Cornwall to Kent and up to Middlesbrough in the North.
It is the UK’s market leader in the domestic sector and now empties, services and repairs more than 70,000 off-mains domestic drainage systems every year.
But the company also operates in a wide range of other sectors including print waste management, industrial hazardous wastes, oil recovery, metals reclamation, tank cleaning, and spills management.
This expansion has followed a successful acquisition programme which has seen CSG take over other long-established major players in the waste sector such as Lanstar, Lloyds Environmental and the high profile print waste management company J & G Environmental.
It draws its corporate customers from many sectors, including Government departments and agencies, major local authorities, utility companies, leading supermarket groups and multi-national forecourt chains.
CSG now operates an award-winning Best Available Technology hazardous waste treatment centre at Cadishead, near Manchester, and a landfill and recycling site at Pound Bottom in the New Forest.
It boasts the largest liquid waste treatment capacity in the UK, as well as the industry’s largest fleet of specifically designed liquid waste road tankers.
CSG employs a national workforce of 400 with around 40 based at its head office building in Fareham.
The company has remained an independent family business. The Hart family are still the principal shareholders, and Bunny Hart’s two daughters still take an active interest in the company.
The group’s managing director, Neil Richards, said he was proud to be leading the company into its 80th year.
“I’m sure our founder could never have envisaged the way in which waste management would evolve from an activity with very few controls to a highly regulated and increasingly sophisticated industry taking a pivotal role in protecting the environment.”