A family business
Northern Disposal & Sanitation is a family owned and operated business, Whether you are a large commercial company, a small county fair or planning an outdoor wedding Northern Disposal & Sanitation can meet your sanitation needs. We offer septic pumping, and portable toilets for Muskoka and surrounding area. We take our environmental responsibility seriously providing formaldehyde free services, and promoting proper recycling and waste disposal practices while following local landfill and ministry guidelines. Using modern technologies and standards we work to develop long-term solutions and take on the responsibility of effectively handling solid waste in order to ensure the health and well-being of our community and the protection of our environment for our children.
Established in 2007, Northern Disposal and Sanitation remains a leader in their industry.
Before starting the business, Katy worked in sales at Deerhurst Resort and Dave was a tool maker. When Dave lost his job and Katy became pregnant with their daughter, they knew it was time to reassess what their next move was going to be.They started off in the garbage industry, renting bins to construction businesses as well as home owners doing renovations.
Katy and Dave always knew they wanted their business to grow. Therefore in 2007 when a local septic business was listed, they knew they had to act quick. Just two months after purchasing the septic business, Katy and Dave bought 10 portable restrooms in order to expand their business even further. Subsequently, Northern Disposal and Sanitation was born.
Although the garbage bin aspect of the business thrived for 10 years, Katy and Dave recently sold their equipment in order to focus 100% on the portable restroom and septic side of the company.
Katy and Dave pride their business on being the most knowledgeable in their industry; thus making them strong leaders. “I want to change the entire view of the sanitation business. Cleanliness is always our priority” said Katy. “Dave and I want to be role models not only in our industry but in our community and surrounding communities”.
Katy and Dave always ensure they go the extra mile in order to take care of their clients. “It’s so important to develop relationships with our clients.” says Katy. “This past summer our truck wasn’t available to pump a septic for with a group of ladies up at their cottage for a girlfriend’s weekend, so I stayed on the FaceTime with them for about an hour to talk them through it. While no money was made, it felt so amazing to know I helped people in the best way I could. An hour later, the ladies showed up at my house with a basket of homemade baked goods to thank me for helping them. That was a moment I’ll never forget”.
Being a woman in a male dominated industry makes it that much tougher for Katy. However, she hasn’t let that glass ceiling damper her drive to succeed. “I believe women can do anything they put their minds to” said Katy,
“I think that’s what gives me a little bit of extra drive. I want to do a good job and being a woman adds the cherry on top of it all”.
While Katy remains the face of the company, her and Dave’s success comes from their ability to work even stronger as a team. “We both have different strengths that we add to the business. Dave comes up with almost all of the ideas while I’m here to communicate them” said Katy.
They hold numerous contracts around the Muskoka and Almaguin area including construction companies, wedding companies, public parks, beaches, boat launches and various other event organizations. They also hold larger scale contracts such as the town of Huntsville, Lake of Bays Township and the Ironman Muskoka triathlon.
An exciting milestone for Katy and Dave is when they were featured in American magazine, Pumper. Not only were they on the cover of Pumper in 2015, but they were recently nominated to be featured in the magazine a second time. “Dave and I were chosen as one of twelve pumping trucks to be featured as “classiest trucks” said Katy. “The readers will choose which truck is the classiest and the award will be given in February”.
Not only have Katy and Dave been featured in a top magazine as leaders in their industry, but they have also won numerous awards throughout their nearly eleven years in business. Northern Disposal and Sanitation has received:
2008 - New Business of the Year - Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber
2011- Young Entrepreneur of Northern Ontario
2013 - Business Networking International - Notable Networker
2015 - Member of the year - Muskoka Builders Association
2015 - Women of Distinction Award - Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Whats next for Katy and Dave? They hope both their business leadership and community leadership continue to thrive, ultimately improving the lives of their clients.
Our Association Memberships
Huntsville Rotary -rotaryclubofhuntsville.com
Huntsville/Lake Of Bays Chamber of Commerce - huntsvillelakeofbays.on.ca
Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce - gravenhurstchamber.com
Port Sydney Chamber of Commerce - portsydneycoc.com
Almaguin Chamber of Commerce - burksfallschamber.com
North Bay Chamber of Commerce - northbaychamber.com
YWCA Muskoka - www.ywcamuskoka.com
Women’s Own Resource Center - www.womensownresource.org
North Bay & District Home Builders' Association - www.northbayhomebuilders.com
Muskoka Home Builders’ Association - www.muskokabuilders.com
Canadian Youth Business Foundation: CYBF - www.cybf.ca
Muskoka Small Business Center - www.muskokaenterprisecentre.com
Northern Ontario Business Awards - www.noba.ca
Muskoka Futures - www.muskokafutures.ca
Ontario Association of Sewage Industry Services - www.oasisontario.on.ca
Mentoring in the Community
Being mentors in not only their in business but in their community as well is extremely important to Katy and Dave. As Katy was once a new business owner herself, she knows the importance of being prepared in order to be successful. When they first had the idea for Northern Disposal & Sanitation, Katy and Dave were eligible for a government grant called the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Through the process of application, and then approval, Katy and Dave were required to attend mentoring sessions in order to learn about business from a successful business owner.
“When you start a business, you apply for a Master Business License and an HST number and then they send you on your way. It’s a scary start into the business world. You’re already taking a huge risk and you have to make important decisions” says Katy.
Katy and Dave were assigned to the owner of Georgian Bay Airways, a sight-seeing plane charter company, as her mentor. In order to maintain her grant, Katy had to follow the criteria and share details such as her business plan and finances with them throughout the meetings. “In the beginning I was like why is this necessary?” says Katy, “However, once we developed such a strong relationship I understood the importance of it. I value those mentors so much and still maintain a friendship with them”.
Being a mentee herself, Katy knows the importance of having a well-established business owner there to guide you through your first steps in a new business. While Katy was going through the process herself, she always thought “Since this can be so scary and intimidating at times, one day I want to ease other people’s lives and businesses”. That’s why Katy now mentors numerous businesses throughout Muskoka through both Muskoka Futures and Muskoka Business Centre.
“It’s my job as a mentor to listen and support you in your business from a different perspective and angle” says Katy, “I wanted to give back since someone had helped me when we first started out. It’s so rewarding for me to know I helped small businesses, even just a little bit”. Katy has spoken at both the Muskoka Business Centre and the YWCA numerous times. She has touched on subjects such as marketing, struggles in business and being a leader in the industry. Katy finds it extremely important to always speak from the heart and discuss the true ups and downs of business as she wants new business owners to understand the real struggles and successes.
While all mentors are different, Katy believes that mentoring can be done many different ways. She meets with her mentees, has discussions on the phone, takes them to networking events, e-mails and introduction to possible partnership opportunities. Nevertheless, she believes that keeping up with her mentees and their steps through business is essential.
Katy is also involved in three entrepreneurial women’s groups within Muskoka. “The women in business groups are so important because we all mentor each other when we’re struggling. We all go through these struggles in business where we question ourselves. It’s important to be supportive and talk to each other in order to feel better and understand the business world better”.
Mentoring will always be a significantly important aspect of Katy’s life as she continues to make a difference for small business owners, educating not only mentees but learning stuff for herself along the way.
Community involvement has always been a priority for Katy and Dave McGregor. Years before meeting Dave and the launch of Northern Disposal & Sanitation, Katy was a volunteer firefighter and a soccer coach while still in her teens. Growing up in a family of modest means gave Katie early insight into the value of caring and contributing to causes that support those in need at home and abroad. Few service organizations have a bigger mandate globally than Rotary International.
Katy calls the Huntsville Rotary Club, “my second family”. Rotary is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.
These are lofty goals but something Katy sincerely believes in and strives to advance on a personal level. She says, “It seems like such a small thing but at Rotary I learned the 'art of the handshake.' Paying attention to the way you shake hands can make a big difference in both your personal and professional relationships.” Katy's outspoken enthusiasm for the work of Rotary resulted in her recently being recognized with a Blue Disk Award for the many new members that she brought into the Club.
Katy makes the strong point that while she is more of the public face of the business, she couldn't do any of it if Dave wasn't supporting her and often picking up the slack at home with their daughter Nikki and in the business. “We are a team and everything we do is a team effort.”
She continues, “I think that my generation concentrates too much on me, me, me. Making a commitment to volunteering takes time and effort but what you get back is so much more than what you contribute. She says, “Because of my schedule, I tend to bounce around Rotary and contribute where I'm needed. One of our club's big projects is hosting an international exchange student. We have a small house and live a bit out of town so we can't have a student live with us but I ask them to make up a wish list for while they are here and then do my best to ensure that we enable some of those wishes.” She adds, “I get this feeling like warm lava flowing in my belly when I know that as a person and as a club we've done some good for someone.” She laughs, “It's a great feeling and I know that if more young people just took a step toward volunteering they'd feel it too!”
The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation is a cause close to Katy's heart. This year Katy and her team - Walking Strong & Proud - will participate for the 6th year in the organization's 'Coldest Night of the Year Walk' for hungry, homeless, and hurting individuals and families here at home and across Canada. In a newspaper interview about the event, she recounts that walking the 10 km route is when it really started to sink in just how challenging it is for those struggling to find warm shelter. “One year it was so slushy and the bottom of my snow pants were retaining so much water, it felt like lifting 50-pound weights. I remember thinking, being out here in the cold and not having anywhere to go, what would you do? That’s when the reality check hit me.”
Many businesses join their local Chamber of Commerce but not too many pay dues at every Chamber in all of the communities in which they do business: Northern Sanitation does just that. For Katy and Dave McGregor, it's simple: “If business owners don't support the Chambers of Commerce, they they won't be around to support us.”
One concrete example of honouring those organizations that are dedicated to helping others involves Northern Sanitation offering not-for-profit groups a discounted rate.
Every year Norther Disposal and Sanitation looks for opportunities to take care of its communities. Katy and Dave sponsor youth soccer teams, sporting events and fundraisers. Katy says, “There is a lot of need and we get asked for donations or support quite often. I've been told that we need to learn to say 'no' but that not who we are.” She reflects, “We can't do every single thing that's asked of us but instead of saying no, sometimes it's just not possible right now.'”
Three years ago, Dave suggested that they use their business to support our local hospital. The Pumping for Patients campaign was born along with its sister program, Pink for Patients. A portion of the cost of every septic tank they pump and a portion of any pink portable restroom is donated to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation in support of cancer diagnostic and care programs.
They recently made their largest donation yet – $5,000 – to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation. In their typically humble way, Katy says, “We were able to do that thanks to the support of our clients.”
Given that the McGregor's business relies on local people and companies, Dave and Katy are very proud to say that 75% of their business relies on Northern Ontario and Muskoka companies to provide services and products to their company. As Katy sees it, “It just makes sense. It's about what goes around coming around. I would feel badly if someone entrusted us with their sanitation needs and then we went out of town to source a service or product that they carry.” She adds, “It all comes back to fostering a sense of community. When someone in our community cares enough to call on us, we feel a responsibility and a desire to reciprocate.” For the McGregors, 'Buy Local' isn't just a slogan; it is a business philosophy.
- What clients are saying...
'Katy, what a delight it was for me to cross paths with you on Thursday! I shared our marvelous visit and lunch together with Shannan! You fine ladies obviously enjoy strong ties from away back! I confess, like brother Donald, to being a huge fan of those who possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a capability to work creatively and strategically, and, as a result, enjoy the respect, admiration, and affection of their community! And you top it all off by giving back through your most generous donation to the Huntsville Hospital, your Rotary work, and your Home Builder’s Association vice presidency! Your web site is superb! You have created a strong emotional connection to your customers, potential customers, and to your community and the environment! WOW! Muskoka is so fortunate to have you and Dave and your exemplary business in our community!'
- John 2016
'Katy and Dave at Northern Disposal are the best!! Since my first contact with them, though they were very busy, they always gave me the time and consideration that I needed. Katy was so understanding of how stressful and hectic planning a wedding can be. She made a great recommendation for us and we were not disappointed. Dave dropped off and picked up the units with no stress to us, which helped us enjoy the time with our guests. The units were clean and comfortable, with a sink for washing, a garbage can, and paper towels. I 100% recommend Northern Disposal for any event! Thanks so much Katy and Dave.'
- Marilee and Bob Stueck 2016
"Dave & Katy .. we had several new comers to our Jamboree this year and when leaving they said they were very impressed with the portable toilets. There was one lady who just won’t use portable toilets because they smell and are not always clean. Just so happened they forgot to dump their trailer before leaving a family reunion in London to come up here so needless to say by Saturday night when she got up around 2 a.m. she woke her hubby up because she couldn’t use their toilet. Well a first for her .. he said she wouldn’t have a problem with your units (he used them) so he went with her and when she came out she said she had no idea how clean/sanitary it was and really smelled nice. She said it changed her mind about using portable toilets. I did say, “if it has Northern Disposal & Sanitation on the unit, then you have no worries because Dave & Katy provide the most clean and sanitary portable toilets over anyone else because they “care”!
- Susan, Burk's Falls Jamboree 2016
Northern Disposal and Sanitation was professional and affordable for the OFSAA Nordic Ski championships. They provided outstanding service for our event by discussing and participating in the planning of the competition. Their experience with large events such as the Ontario Winter Games, Ironman and Subaru Triathlon series brought a level of confidence in helping us to plan for various locations. During the three day event they scheduled regular cleaning service and the participants were pleased due to the level of attention to detail in the comments I heard. I appreciate these types of comments as an event organizer I would highly recommend Northern Disposal & Sanitation to other large event organizers.
~ John Cowan ChPC OFSAA Nordic Ski Championships Huntsville 2012
I would recommend Katy McGregor and her team at Northern Disposal & Sanitation without a second thought! I was throwing a cottage-concert-camp-out in August 2013 for my love's birthday and it was all a surprise - we had musicians, a stage, lighting, gear, multiple tents for dining, the bar, rentals, food and guests all for a three-day blowout on the river. As some background, my love and I have been together over 15 years and we also run a business together - so any attempts at surprises are pretty difficult since we're literally together 24/7, and one this big, without having him to bounce ideas off of was even more terrifying. Given the little privacy, I had to approach suppliers under an alias with only a "fake" e-mail address to provide as my contact info which I expected to cause even more obstacles - how would they know I was legit when I had to remain so stealthy? In flew Katy with her support, encouragement and tremendous help and I felt like I had a friend in my mission - who, bonus, was also taking care of the mess all my other friends would inevitably be making over a three-day party. Look, it's literally a nasty business but it's something that must be considered when throwing large functions, or even small ones when you need to give your septic a rest which is more the case up north. Katy and her team stuck to the contract, worked it so that my timing was respected in order not to "ruin" the surprise, they came to "clean up" right on schedule and made it all as easy as possible for me. Her crew that came to set up even helped me add a little light in each unit for night-time visits which hadn't even crossed my mind - this was just a simple battery operated light stick that the crew found in their truck - it was a courteous gesture that may not seem like a big deal but it's those little thoughtful extras that Katy and her team provided that made them stand out as people I would be happy to work with again and to recommend to others. To be honest, I can't believe I am touting a waste disposal company this much but I really feel the whole experience helped my celebration overall with taking a huge stressor off my shoulders. I am a firm believer is customer service and I will remain loyal to those businesses who feel the same and back it up with their conduct. My only regret is that it took me so long to write this review. To Katy and her team - THANK YOU!!!!
- Megan - cottage-concert-camp-out celebration in August 2013
Just wanted to thank you for the excellent service that we received from Northern Sanitation for the porta potty that we rented for July and August. It made camping on our property...alot more enjoyable!!!
– Martha Knowlton
"Working with Northern Sanitation and Disposal on the planning of the Olympic Torch Relay Community Celebration in Huntsville was a wonderful experience. They offer outstanding service and attention to detail, quick delivery and pick-up and also offer wheelchair accessible units which are a must for any event....... ”
Kate Austin- 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Community Task Force Coordinator, Huntsville
It is a pleasure working with both Katy and Dave. Working with a local company that supplies outstanding service on a weekly basis keeps all of our employees’ content. When nature calls, we call Northern Disposal & Sanitation. Keep up the great service guys it is always a good feeling knowing the product/service is always above and beyond!”
Alex Chavarria - 2010 Fowler Construction
This is just a note of thanks for the terrific service that you are providing. Dave, when you first approached me, explained my dissatisfaction with the portable toilet provider we were using. Shortly after that, a Ministry of Labour inspector commented on the sorry state of hygiene evident in these units. On top of that, our employees were complaining of the unpleasantness of using these facilities. The problem was serious enough that it was brought up in one of our Health and Safety meetings.
When you told me what you could do, I rather had my doubts that you could deliver on your promises. I was in a bind, so we gave you a shot. When we saw your units, we were very pleased to see that you had exceeded our expectations. Most of all, our people are happy with them: not a single complaint. During our following safety meeting, your service was mentioned by name with the report that the Ministry was satisfied.
Our people work hard, often in difficult weather and working conditions. Out of appreciation for them, and respect for their dignity, the least we can do is to provide pleasant and hygienic toilet facilities: that is exactly what you folks have done for us.
Kevin Battle – 2009 Project Administrator BOT Construction (Ontario) LTD
IN THE NEWS
Huntsville Doppler May, 2017
Serving community comes first for Katy and Dave McGregor. It’s evident in their business, Northern Disposal & Sanitation, and also in the causes they choose to support.
Three years ago, Dave suggested to Katy that they use their business to support our local hospital and the Pumping for Patients campaign was born, along with its sister program, Pink for Patients. A portion of the cost of every septic tank they pump is donated to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation in support of cancer diagnostic and care programs, as is a portion of every rental of a pink portable restroom.
They recently made their largest donation yet – $5,000 – to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation thanks to the support of their clients.