Day In The Life of Steve Kibbey | Commercial Recycling Blog

Day in the life of Steve Kibbey, our Head of Operations

It’s been a while since we have caught up with one of our team and shared a day in the life, so when our new Head of Operations started, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to get the list of questions out and get to know Steve a little better.  

Read on to learn what three words Steve used to best describe himself and what he gets up to day to day. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your job?

I have been in the waste industry for around 32 years, having spent the last 19 years in a similar business in Portsmouth. 

Having joined this company at the beginning of the year, I’m excited to start a new challenge, and stretch myself and my skills and strive for more. I’m always looking for new ways to learn and improve, so this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. 

As Head of Operations on Waste and Aggregate Management, my role here is to oversee the operational management of Commercial Recycling and its partner company Avon Material Supplies.

I am here to foster a better working relationship between the two companies and to help the businesses thrive, be that through opportunities and acquisitions or planning and process improvement. Both AMS and Commercial Recycling have the same goal, reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling, so my job is to make sure that the businesses are working efficiently, whether that’s together or separately, to achieve this. 

It seems like a big task, but I am working department by department. I want to make sure that I fully understand everything that is going on, from learning why things are being done in a certain way, to the strengths of the process and their weaknesses, before implementing change. This will mean that the changes being made are for the better and actually do make a difference. 

To a degree I am a ‘why bird’. As I am trying to understand what is going on within the businesses, I am asking everyone “why?”. 

Everyone has slightly different perspectives and thought processes, and I don’t want to say my way is the best, so I have to understand why people do what they do, before we can discuss change. If we don’t do that, then we will skirt around the edges and not actually change anything, and that is just frustrating. So for me, getting the answer to why is critical to move forward. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me begins with checking in with each of the department heads to ensure all is well. I then look at a section of the business to see what we are doing, how processes work, what we are achieving, where we aspire to be and how we can make that happen. 

As I have only been here 6 weeks, a lot of my time at the moment is spent understanding how the business works and what challenges face us every day. Coming in fresh, gives me the opportunity to ask the questions that may have not been thought about, that may have been overlooked due to being busy. As it is when you start any new job, right now it seems like asking and answering questions is my life, along with suggesting improvements of course. 

What excites you most about working at Commercial Recycling & AMS? 

The companies have a sound footing in the industry locally; so both have massive opportunities to grow. These opportunities are wide-ranging, and being given a chance to influence the direction and therefore, growth is what gets me out of bed in the morning. 

Have you got any interesting stories from your time working here?

Define interesting! If you are a bit of a waste and aggregate nerd like me every day is interesting. And as a very wise man once told me ’Every day is a school day’. This seems to have become a bit of a mantra for me now!

Is there anything interesting that you have learnt since joining us? 

In the past 6 weeks, I have learnt a lot about aggregate production. In the company I worked for before, we only dealt with dry screening of aggregates, so I have had to learn all about the washing of aggregates and the pitfalls of working with silt and clay. As someone who loves to learn, and who took the opportunity to challenge myself, this has been a lot of fun.  

What makes Commercial Recycling & AMS different?

I would have to say the people. 

There is a wealth of talent within the company and everyone I have interacted with has demonstrated that they have got the company’s best interests at heart. It is refreshing to work with a team that carries a positive outlook into everything they do. 

I am looking forward to working closely with all departments and all team members to help them realize their potential and affect change for the better.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Honest, enquiring and driven. 

Or to put it another way, I say it how it is, won’t be silenced and won’t let it go!

I like to get people to think about what they are doing, and then work with them to find a solution that might work better. I say I don’t let go because I won’t take “that is just how we do it” as an answer. Instead, I want to get people to sell it to me, and in doing that they might see some of the problems that lie within. We can then work together to find better solutions. People who buy into the new ideas will find it easier to work with them. 

I care about the people here, they are passionate and loyal so I want to foster that and really build strong relationships that will ultimately help the business grow – at the end of the day that is what we are all working for and I can’t achieve that by myself. 

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.

A couple of years ago I discovered running thanks to the ‘Couch to 5k’ plan. I got quite addicted to the happy feelings that running provides after the endorphin hit and so the miles started creeping up and before I knew it I had run a few road races. This led me from the couch to running full marathons for charity. Not part of the plan really but a good use of time during the lockdown!

Get in touch with us to learn more about our goals and tipping with us. Call our friendly team on 01202 579579, or email us at enquiries@avonmaterialsupplies.co.uk

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