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Paul Brander CV
My total objective is to spend at least the next 5 years using the knowledge and experience that I have gained in the
environmental arena to train and impart my knowledge to others. There is not much sense taking the knowledge that
I have gained through the school of hard knocks and experience to my grave. I have also found that the tuition at the
school of hard knocks is very expensive as it is based on trial and error and you learn what not to do in the future
and this is what I would like to pass along.
My focus in business and my personal life can best be summed up in a few words, “Identify the root problem and
find a sustainable solution”. Creativity is likely my major strength as many solutions are over looked due to the fact
that we continue to look for the answer in our own tiny box and fail to get outside the box to find new, creative
solutions. Opportunities are often lost as well due to short sightedness. New emerging technologies are always
present and the key is to cull the snake oil from the innovative solutions.
1968 to 1991, Vice President, Laidlaw
I started as a dispatcher at a very young age and quickly became the youngest branch manager running the largest
branch that Michael DeGroote had at that time. I was very fortunate that Mike took me under his wing and I was
groomed in the DeGroote fashion. Work hard and make deals that work. Mike fashioned himself as the highest paid
purchase agent that Laidlaw ever had. His intuition as to when to purchase companies and when to sell was uncanny
and I had the opportunity of seeing this unfold on a daily basis. I ran the branch for approximately 5 years and
during this time I spent a lot of time grooming the person to replace me, much the same as Mike had done for me.
I was then promoted to VP Sales for the transport group and my sales territory was everything east of Manitoba in
Canada and east of the Mississippi south to the Gulf of Mexico in the US. This was accomplished by setting up a
complex network of sales agents which were all commissioned and really hungry. I had a few salaried salesmen in
the Ontario and Quebec zones but the commissioned agents worked much better. During my tenure with the
transport group, the hazardous waste and nonhazardous soil business was placed on my plate and this became my
passion. I stayed with Laidlaw for a few years after Mike left the country after selling his interests of Laidlaw to CP
for a mere $500,000,000.00. The company was not the same after his departure and I left as well. My mentor was
1991 to 1995, Vice President, Solid Waste Reclamation/Waxman Holdings
This was possibly one of the highlights of my career. I had the opportunity of working with Morris and Michael
Waxman and we started a waste brokering company. We made deals in the US for Construction &Demolition debris
and MSW all over the US which were unheard of at the time. Locations were in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana,
Illinois and Michigan the day that the border reopened. The volumes were in excess of 70 walking floors per day as
well a minimum of 10 loads of hazardous and liquid wastes moving to and from the US. It was a few years but the
shipping public soon short circuited SWR and moved directly to the landfills as soon as SWR’s contracts were
completed. The focus then was on recycling of steel making wastes (aka byproducts) which was also very lucrative.
Recycling was the key to the success of this organization and the demolition waste recycling became a key source of
1995 to 1997, Vice President, Unitec Disposal
My tenure at Unitec was to effectively grow the business within 5 years so that it could be sold as a viable waste
company in Ontario. This was a daunting task but a lot of fun. Unitec had the landfill on LaSalle Rd. in Sarnia and
we marketed this as a secure nonhazardous industrial site which was excavated in a clay seam that was 10 to the
minus 9 (same til as the Tricil haz site). I worked very closely with Kevin Bechard and his father Ross who also
became a mentor prior to his death. This mission was achieved within 2 years and the company was purchased by
Sanifil who soon became US Waste and the Canadian division became Canadian Waste as before I knew it I was
back at Laidlaw. The size of the new organization was not what I was wanting so I left shortly after the Canadian
1997 to 2002, Vice President, General Environmental Group
Sales and corporate growth were the 2 main focuses with this company. I was able to secure the contract to fill the
Brow Landfill and as a result 500,000 tonnes of soil were directed into this facility over a 2 year period. The
Imperial Oil contract was secured and this became a major client as well. Demolition (or we described it at General
as deconstruction) became a huge part of the growth of this company. The amount that we were able to recycle far
exceeded the then very tight specification for recycling by the Federal Government and the Department of National
Defense and as a result we were awarded many of these contracts. The sales of the company grew from around
$2,000,000.00 annually to approximately $8,500,000.00 with an extremely high margin. The tip charge at the gate
of the landfill was between $3.00 and $6.00/tonne and was sold for substantially more. A lot of the out of the box
thinking contributed to the growth of this company. The cash infusion allowed the contracting business to grow so
that they became one of the largest environmental contracting firms in Ontario. I was working on the eastern
seaboard of the US for General Environmental trying to develop a US entity but bonding in the US became an issue
due to the size of the projects.
Projects of Major Significance that I handled
Plastimet clean up in Hamilton which was considered to be one of the most toxic fires of the century.
Demolition and disposal of hazardous waste became a huge Health and Safety endeavor. This project
exceeded $3 million dollars but it was well below the $5 million budgeted due to extremely tight reins on
Black Creek & Eglinton landfill mining and recycling rather than haul the material off site to another
landfill. Site was cleaned up and was to be used as a site for a Loblaw’s flagship store.
Demolition of many railway facilities across Ontario for both CN and CP
Asbestos removal at many City of Toronto and City of Hamilton Schools
2002 to 2007, Vice President. AIM Environmental Group
Once again my mandate was to grow a low gross company into a major corporation using innovation as a stepping
stone. It was at AIM that I first started to use a Modified Fenton’s Chemistry process which set us apart as a leader
in the chemox field. Demolition was a huge factor in the growth and even some niche projects that involved
explosion and implosion. The Hydro One contract was secured while I was at AIM and we were able to tear this
away from all of the landfills that were bidding it directly but twist in our bid that offered a 50/50 shared saving if
we could find a cheaper disposal option to the contract. This was a win/win for both parties and gave us the leg up
over the competition. Hydro One was inundated with letters from the other bidders crying foul but to no avail.
Once again a company in the $2,000,000.00 sales range grew to the $12,000,000.00 range. AIM also started the
state-of-the-art composting facility while I was there and that system has now been approved at Guelph and the
facility is under construction.
Projects of Major Significance that I handled
London Health Sciences in London, Ontario had the high structure in the City which was the stack attached
to the Energy from Waste facility which we demolished. The stack was imploded on a Saturday evening
and it became entertainment for what appeared to be the whole city judging by the size of the crown. The
stack landed less that 12” form the precise spot that had been laid out in the plan.
London Psychiatric Hospital was a huge endeavor with a an inordinate amount of asbestos abatement.
Imperial Oil in Sarnia required asbestos abatement to be done in a large area of the refinery while the plant
was in operation. The heat from the steam lines required an extensive Health and Safety Plan focusing on
heat stress for the employees. The project went off on schedule and on budget without an issue.
2007 to July 7, 2012, CEO/President, Brander Environmental Strategies & Technologies Inc.
Everything becomes the responsibility of the owner in one way or another. The primary function is to grow the
corporation in a responsible and manageable fashion to keep the cash flowing and the hopper full of projects. At age
61 to speed up rather than slow down seemed like crazy thing for me to do to those of my peers in the industry.
However, this is the time in my life that I felt that chances could be taken and I have the energy to pursue the dream.
The reason to be on my own was to explore more of the new strategies and spend more time outside of the box than
in it. This same premise put me on the Hydro One contract as they opened the contract up after I went out on my
own. This gave me the opportunity of being on the secured bidding list which is a pretty exclusive club. The
contracting portion of the business combined with the emerging technologies made us very competitive on both
organic and inorganic soil. The demolition side of the business gave me another lucrative venue to recycle. The
construction and deconstruction manages virtually all of the same materials. The designated wastes throw a wrench
into the process but through good health and safety practices of this function also allows recycling if the
decontamination process is handled effectively. Waste diversion has been my mantra, even when it was not popular.
Over 4 decades ago I could see landfills filling up and since that time I have seen one after another close its gates
with no viable alternative prior to the closing. Waste diversion in my estimation is the key to landfill extension.
Once again the discernment of what is practical and what is not is critical in the decision making process. The
opportunity to divest myself of this business became attractive as it gives me the opportunity of managing the
business without the reporting structures which can now be done by others in the organization.
July 7, 2012 to October 16, 2012, Marketing Director, Terratechnik Environmental Limited
My career at Terratechnik is essentially what I have been doing for the last 4 ½ decades but bringing new and
emerging technologies into the current decade. Soil remediation technologies are emerging all around the
globe and for years we only looked for solutions in North America. New equipment is being built abroad
which can be adapted for many environmental uses. The attachments being offer now for heavy
equipment make demolition safer and quicker. The remediation of soil and groundwater can now be
performed much more effectively and cheaper that the old method of hauling them off site. In the
marketing position I will be looking for new markets and well as dealing with the present business. The
mantra will continue to be , “Identify the root problem and find a sustainable solution”.
October 16, 2012 – present, Semi-Retired and VP at Georgian Bay Environmental Consulting
This experience has taken me to the Yukon and the Maritime Provinces on projects.
Kevin Bechard, Vice President, Entropex, Sarnia, Ontario
Michael Waxman, President, Waxman Holding, Hamilton, Ontario
Theo VanWely, President, Aim Environmental Group, Hamilton, Ontario
Dr. Daniel Cassidy – Professor at University of Western Michigan
Robert Johnson – President, Bioforj Environmental
Patents and Publications
Regular contributor to HazMat Magazine
Interests and Activities
Health Issues especially cancer as it relates to the environment and cancer cluster investigation.
Wood working, carving, landscaping, boating, fishing, NASCAR
Committee Member on the Brownfield Committee for the City of Hamilton during the formation of the ERASE
Committee Member on the Brownfield Committee of the City of Cambridge during the formation of its existing
Brownfield assistance program
Committee member for 3 years on the Environmental Committee for the TCA (Toronto Construction Association)
Board Member at my local church