Oricol Environmental Services has announced its 20th anniversary as a leading environmental services company in South Africa.
Originally formed under the name of Onyx Waste Management Services in 2002, Oricol Environmental Services offers fully integrated environmental services to industrial and commercial customers.
Since its inception, it has been committed to providing innovative, sustainable solutions to managing and treating waste as a secondary resource with the aim of ensuring maximum diversion of waste from landfills.
Over the past 20 years, it has successfully developed innovative processes, machinery and facilities to recover and recycle waste. The company prides itself on Turning Waste Into A Resource.®
Oricol Environmental Services has successfully improved its diversion of waste from landfill disposal from 20% in 2008 to over 70% in 2021.
The company has saved about 150 000 tons of CO₂ emissions over the past five years.
In 2018 it opened a new resource recovery centre in Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal that produces homogenous fuels from liquid and sludge waste material.
The product is used primarily as a fuel source for cement manufacturer InterCement, replacing its total reliance on coal as an energy source.
The milestone anniversary coincides with the retirement of founder and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Sanders.
While Mr Sanders will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of the company, he will continue to support it in the role of Executive Chairman. Graeme Smart, who is the existing Financial Director, will take over as CEO.
Mr Sanders paid tribute to his staff, saying “we’ve got a great team that has been through hell and back and they will carry on the legacy going forward.”
He said the “great bunch” of people at the company helped it overcome many of the short-term problems it has faced in its history.
‘From a small company to a booming company’
Dirk De Wet, Gauteng Regional Manager and incoming Chief Operations Officer, who joined the company in 2005, recalls having to reserve only one table for the entire Gauteng staff for breakfast at Wimpy in the early days.
“From there the business grew and so did our staff. I am very proud to have been part of such a special journey, and I know that 20 years from now Oricol will be the measure in the environmental services industry in Southern Africa,” he says.
Jeanette Coetser, Gauteng Finance Team Leader, who has been with the company for the past 19 years, says it’s been a privilege to witness Oricol grow from this “small company to this booming company”.
Mobile Compaction truck driver Bkeki Mngadi, who has been with the company for the past 18 years, says Oricol has helped him grow his skills and knowledge of the waste industry.
“I started just as a driver and then trained to operate the mobile compaction vehicle and also learned about all the different waste types.
“My most memorable time was going up to Johannesburg to train to become a qualified driver trainer.”
Lukas Vermaak, an integrated contracts manager based in Johannesburg, says he is proud of being part of the original team with Mr De Wet that set up a recycling division in Gauteng in the early days.
“He had a vision when he started with Oricol and I had the opportunity to add to his vision from the beginning. To look back now and see how many of the activities have evolved and knowing that I had a hand in it right from the beginning makes me very proud,” he says.
Mr Sanders credits the company’s continued growth to putting sound foundations in place from the outset. One example is SABS ISO certifications.
Oricol Environmental Services is triple ISO certified on all of its sites, complying with ISO 9001 (quality management systems), ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) and ISO 45001 (health and safety) standards. The company employs over 400 people.
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