Covid-19 Decontamination Team Leader
Jim Gildea is the founder, managing director and owner of Rubbish Clearance and Waste Removal Ltd, a company based in Hampshire which offers domestic, commercial and industrial waste removal services, specialist cleaning services, asbestos removal and disposal, and rapid response services.Over the past year they have been the ‘go to’ organisation for all COVID-19 cleaning needs.
Jim Gildea is the founder, managing director and owner of Rubbish Clearance and Waste Removal Ltd, a company based in Hampshire which offers domestic, commercial and industrial waste removal services, specialist cleaning services, asbestos removal and disposal, and rapid response services.
After experiencing much emotional upheaval during his teenage years which saw him leave secondary school without qualifications, Jim Gildea began working for himself at the age of 16. Much of his early career was spent working in odd jobs locally. He balanced this with his personal ambition to self-educate and undertook college courses in his own time to acquire the basic O-Level qualifications that he would require.
His first taste of the waste removal industry came in the year 2000, and it would leave a sizeable impression as Gildea made his first personal business venture into the sector just seven years later with the launch of his own business, Rubbish Clearance & Waste Removal.
On the back of a plan to create a small, profitable and versatile company that would provide a high level of customer service and fulfil the needs of the local area on the south coast, the business started to operate as a sole trader in 2000 It initially provided waste removal services in Hampshire and surrounding areas.
It soon became apparent to Gildea that clients were looking for a more comprehensive service than waste removal and multiple tradesmen were often summoned to premises in order for all of the necessary tasks to be completed. On the back of this, Gildea set about expanding and diversifying his business to offer an all-encompassing service for his customers.
After diversifying its operations, the business became a limited company in 2015. After Gildea completed a training course with the National Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners - owned by Ultimate Environmental and the only recognised crime scene forensic cleaning course provider in the UK - the company was then qualified to offer rapid response services which are offered under the trading name of Total Trauma Cleaning. In January 2016, the company undertook its first forensic cleaning assignment at a murder scene on 75 Waverley Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.
To date, the business provides domestic, commercial and industrial waste removal services, specialist cleaning services, asbestos removal and disposal, alongside its rapid response services.
Of its more notable assignments in recent years, the business was called out on December 28, 2019, to attend to an oil spill in Ramsgate, Kent, and just three days later on the evening of December 31, the company had to provide a rapid response cleanup in Portsmouth docks after a dead whale became stuck on the bow of an arriving ship which required removal.
In June 2020, Gildea appeared on a Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland podcast, discussing the importance of leadership and the impact it has had on his career to date.
The fight against Covid-19
With his business capable of providing rapid response work and fully experienced in conducting murder clean-ups and forensic cleaning jobs on behalf of Ultimate Environmental, the emergence of Covid-19 in the UK in early 2020 offered the business another opportunity.
As he arrived in the arrivals lounge at Heathrow Airport on February 13, 2020, following a holiday, Gildea was contacted and asked to provide Covid-19 infection prevention and control services for the first suspected Covid clear-up in the UK.
Since accepting the call, 75 per cent of Rubbish Clearance & Waste Removal’s work has been dedicated to Covid-19 response work. Indeed, the company carried out the February 29 clean-up operation at Haslemere Health Centre in Surrey where the UK's Covid-19 alleged 'patient zero' was initially treated.
In late March as cleaning companies across the country were becoming inundated with requests to disinfect buildings during the pandemic, Jim Gildea and the company took part in a BBC expose with reporter Duncan Kennedy, to discuss how they as a leading unit working against the virus set about deep cleaning hospitals and other buildings, discussing what the extensive deep cleaning process entailed. Kennedy’s report featured on both BBC Local and National News. The company also featured in the media on BBC South Today alongside Nikki Mitchell in the same month.
The company’s work has also featured on Global News in California and the wider US in a special report, during which Gildea explained that the business has been 'busier than ever before' working in hospitals, nursing homes and local government buildings which all required regular deep cleaning to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading. The period left Gildea and his staff working exceptionally long days, sometimes up to 17 hours, to keep on top of demand just one week after the full lockdown was called.
In April 2020, Gildea teamed up with mobile comparison site USwitch and offered insight as a specialist cleaning consultant to help provide a number of useful hints and tips for consumers to keep mobile phone screens clean, amid the risk of Covid-19 bacteria finding its way onto smartphones screens and being able to spread via contact given its capability to survive for days on such surfaces. Tips included the right products to use in order to effectively disinfect phone screens and cases, as well as remove excess dust and bacteria from nooks and crannies such as charger and headphone ports.
From November 1, 2020, Gildea and the business took up a fresh contract, carrying out work for Hampshire Highways. The contract, issued via Skanska UK plc, requires Gildea and his company to carry out emergency response work and removal of clinical waste.
Listen to Jim Gildea's Leaders Council podcast.
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Charter of Principles
- To treat all colleagues, customers and clients with the utmost courtesy and respect.
- To make every conceivable effort to deal exclusively with organisations and individuals of repute.
- To commit, wherever possible, to making a positive social and environmental impact.
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- To conduct my affairs not just for the benefit of my own organisation but for the benefit of my sector and country at large.
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