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130 Years In The Business: Celebrating Kartaway’s Achievements And Looking To The Future

Kartaway is celebrating a massive 130 years in operation! What began as a small general courier around Melbourne has grown into a national waste management company. Our management and staff thank you for your support and are looking for another prosperous 130 years! We’ve been through many changes and achieved so much in our more than a century of operation. We have come a long way and learnt a lot through our key learning milestones throughout our history.

The Whelan group of companies began operation in 1892. James Paul Whelan saw a need in his community and founded the Cartage Company, which was a general carrier delivering goods of all sorts around, then quite small, Melbourne. Even during the tough times of the 1890s while many banks and businesses were collapsing, the Cartage Company prospered and grew from strength to strength. This is when James earned the famous nickname ‘Whelan the Wrecker.’

When it was time for a new generation to take the reins, James’ sons James, Thomas, and Joseph took over management of the business and began building the company into what you know today. There’s been many different aspects to the company, one of which was Wreckair Pty Ltd, which was established in 1952.The company would become Australia’s largest plant hire company, and it still operates today merged in the operations of a large Australian public company.

The war years slowed growth of the business, but the company still expanded. When a ‘Whelan the Wrecker is here’ sign was posted, people knew a new exciting project was commencing. By 1960 the population of Melbourne had grown by almost 4 times since the company’s inception. With the growing population came a boom of major construction. The Whelan Group was there to help with waste management in Melbourne, removing the large tracts of redundant buildings as they were demolished.

The first iteration of the name you know now was established in 1977. Kartaway Rubbish Removals commenced operation as a specialist operator of skip bins in Melbourne to keep up with demand for a streamlined and systematic approach to the new Melbourne Underground project. Throughout the 1980s Kartaway expanded to the Mornington Peninsula and Queensland, growing our services to include skip hire on the Sunshine Coast and supplying the need for waste management in Brisbane and on the Peninsula with their thriving construction growth.

In 1990, the company doubled in size with the acquisition of Mini Skip businesses that operate into South Australia and New South Wales to supply skip bins in Adelaide and Sydney. Skipaway Skip Hire on the Gold Coast was also acquired, further growing our Gold Coast waste management services.

In 1991, the transport arm of Moss Rock Garden Supplies in Melbourne was acquired and we joined the recycling industry. As the recycling industry grew, we knew it was an important industry to be a key part of. In 2002 Kartaway began setting up privately owned transfer stations for recycling in VIC, NSW, and QLD. We began jointly operating Council transfer stations in SA, allowing us to expand our waste management in Adelaide. This helped make it easier for people across all of Australia to recycle their waste.

Today all of our companies operate under one identity – Kartaway. We’ve processed over an incredible 2 million orders and have become one of Australia’s leading waste management companies servicing the building, construction, and recycling industries. We now offer skip bin hire in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne. All while still being owned by the same Whelan family who founded the company in 1892.

Looking towards the future, Kartaway is committed to sustainability and doing our part in creating a greener future. Throughout our history it became clear that both a need for an easy way for businesses and construction to dispose of and recycle their large scale waste and a convenient way for individuals to access recycling plants was needed. Responsibly disposing of materials with bin skips waste and recycling all we can goes a long way in ensuring items don’t sit in landfill, unable to decompose, and instead become useful again. We run two public recycling depots in Australia, one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide for all to drop off their recyclable items, diverting them from landfill. We’re looking forward to continuing with and expanding our waste management services and finding new ways to increase the sustainability of our operations to preserve this planet for as long as we can.

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