In keeping with tradition by running the family business, Marcotte Disposal, Tracey Kaplin has one simple goal: Grow the operation and provide a good living for its employees. “We wanted to keep it a family-style run business and provide jobs for the people of our community,” Tracey says of her Sarnia and area-based operation. Tracey is the CEO and co-owner of Marcotte Disposal with her mother Theresa Kaplin.
“My parents bought Marcotte Disposal in 1993 from the second owners,” Tracey says. “My dad, Charlie Kaplin, grew the company and brought it over to Canada in 1999. In 2006, my dad passed away so I took over the operation. It was a challenging but natural progression for me as I have a long history of working in the waste industry alongside my dad.”
Marcotte Disposal employs 58 people in Canada and another 35 at the American operation in Port Huron, MI. Every day there is something new at Marcotte, so they take the good along with the challenging days. Tracey and her sales director, Jacqueline Smith, find that ensuring staffing remains one of their biggest challenges.
“We bring in people and train them and some people leave by noon,” Tracey says with a laugh. It is common for people to underestimate the difficulty of waste collection. The people working on the back of the truck can hoist upwards of 20 to 40 tonnes of waste in a single day. “For the guys on the back of the truck, it’s very labour intensive. It’s a lot of weight to be picked up repeatedly,” explains Jacqueline. Weather can also be a deterrent. “Wind, rain, and snow make it a monumental task to collect the municipal waste, compost, and large items,” says Tracey. Tracey and her senior management team prioritize motivating their team. “We try to focus on the positive aspects of everything and the staff work hard to keep us going. The unsung heroes of our business are the dedicated people that work with us.”
Marcotte Disposal places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction. “From the time the phones start to ring in the morning until they turn off at the end of the day, service is the key,” Tracey says. “We answer our phones personally. You don’t have to press 2 and 4 and 6 to speak with somebody. We try to cater and tailor each contract to the individual.” Jacqueline says keeping the drivers consistent and customizing contracts helps keep customers happy. “The drivers get to know the people they are dealing with. Our clients really like that.”
While people may know Marcotte Disposal for commercial and municipal pick-up, Marcotte also offers residential disposal services. “You can call us and order a bin for a home renovation project,” explains Tracey. Marcotte has also begun a curbside pick-up program where special pick-ups can be arranged.
In addition to customer service, Tracey and her team are also passionate for wildlife. Marcotte Disposal is one of the primary donors for Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre. Marcotte’s giving back to the community started with Charlie & Theresa Kaplin’s generous spirit and continues on through his family. “This is a business that we can be very proud of.”