Providing Portable Sanitation For Wellfleet OysterFest In Massachusetts

Working to impress their friends and neighbors, Matt Frazier and his crew take their service commitment to the Wellfleet OysterFest seriously.
Providing Portable Sanitation For Wellfleet OysterFest In Massachusetts
Matt Frazier, owner of M.A. Frazier Enterprises Inc., stays in constant contact with his crew working OysterFest. The important local tourist event must be closely monitored to provide the cleanest service possible.

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The Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Mass., is home base for Matt Frazier and his company, M. A. Frazier Enterprises Inc., which offers a number of services for the area – portable restrooms, restroom and office trailers, roll-off containers, trash and recycling services, temporary fencing and ground storage containers. Frazier is helped out by his wife, Wendy, who focuses on marketing and restroom trailers, 13 field personnel and four office workers, all of whom were on hand for the Wellfleet OysterFest. The company also remobilized several seasonal workers for the fall event.


In the 1980s, Frazier added septic work to his landscape, construction and asphalt paving business, eventually leading to offering portable restrooms. “I learned about the Pumper magazine back in ’87 or ’88 and got intrigued by a number of the articles and advertisements about portable restrooms,” he explains. “I thought it would be a great addition to run hand-in-hand with my other services.” He picked up 30 Satellite Industries units from a company in Boston, then in 1989 bought out a local competitor, adding an additional 250 – “which made me a decent competitor,” he says.

Over the next 11 years, he grew his inventory to 1,800 units through acquisitions and new purchases, and picked up his first restroom trailer. In 1999, when a German company began buying up portable restroom companies in New England, he decided to sell and concentrate on dumpsters and storage containers. But in 2004 when the German company pulled out, Frazier went back in, starting from scratch by buying a company that had 40 restrooms and a Lely Manufacturing Inc. slide-in tank.

Today his inventory stands at 700 Satellite and PolyPortables units. He’s also proud of his six company-built restroom trailers – high-end and all made from scratch, he says.

Events account for 40 percent of the company’s portable sanitation work. Their service territory covers Cape Cod, eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island.


Frazier picked up the Wellfleet OysterFest event from its beginning 13 years ago – “Because I’m the local boy, I guess,” he says. Only three units were needed for the first one but it’s gotten significantly bigger since, and he’s made a point of doing whatever it takes to keep up with it.


About 100,000 oysters and 10,000 clams were consumed at Wellfleet OysterFest over the Oct. 19, 2013 weekend, a Cape Cod tradition marking the end of tourist season. The 30,000 attendees also enjoyed live music, an art fair, aquaculture educational programs, nature walks, oyster reef tours, road races, a dance party, skateboard competition and the popular Shuck-Off competition.


Besides supplying portable restrooms and temporary fencing, the company handled trash, recycling and maintenance for the event. They also managed off-site parking at three beaches. Team member David Colter oversaw that operation, which involved posting signs, managing digital message boards, deploying 200 street cones, putting up barricades, directing traffic, coordinating with 12 shuttle bus drivers, as well as keeping the permanent bathrooms stocked and trash containers emptied.

Perhaps the most rewarding service the company provided was the recycling of five tons of oyster shells. “The reason for recycling is to get those shells back into the harbor because there are baby oysters still growing on the outside of them,” Frazier explains. It’s estimated that 600,000 tiny oysters (called spat) were returned to the harbor. “This is a big accomplishment of the festival and we were the first community to do it,” he says. “It took special dispensation from multiple state agencies because it isn’t normally legal to be dumping a dumpster’s contents into the ocean.” The roll-off was thoroughly scoured and spotless before any shells went in.


The company brought in 108 portable restrooms – blue Maxim 3000 models, aqua Globals and ADA-compliant Freedoms from Satellite – plus 12 Satellite hand-wash stations, 50 96-gallon trash toters, 50 64-gallon recycling toters, 600 feet of temporary fencing, three roll-off containers for solid waste and a 15-cubic-yard roll-off for the shell recycling program.

Although all units had hand sanitizers, the company also provided eight two-sided hand-sanitizer units built by the company for the festival, displaying company and festival logos.


Perimeter fencing went up on Tuesday, equipment was brought in on Wednesday and Thursday using company-built delivery trailers, and Friday was checklist day to make sure everything was done.

Fifty units were set up at the main venue, all in one large bank, and 20 at the marina parking lot. The rest were spread throughout town at numerous parking areas and two recreation facilities where some of the activities took place. Shuttle bus drivers were given keys to several locked units set aside for their use only.

It took three days after the festival to break everything down, steam-clean the units and put everything away.


The company used five 2005-2011 Ford and Sterling service trucks built out by Progress Tank with 700-gallon waste/300-gallon freshwater stainless steel tanks and Masport Inc. pumps. And for extra peace of mind – “because on a Sunday at 3:30 in the morning, in the middle of October, anything can go wrong” – the company hired out a 3,000-gallon Specialty B Sales septic truck from a local company. “We put an adapter on it to push [the intake] down from 3 inches to 2 so we could pump units directly from his truck,” Frazier says.

Periphery parking lots were cleaned starting at 6 p.m. Saturday but the bulk of the work was done Sunday morning around 3:30 a.m. The company uses J & J Chemical Co. products. Waste was taken to the local treatment plant.

In addition, 16 team members on Saturday and 12 on Sunday – wearing high-visibility vests or shirts with the company’s logo – worked from 8 a.m. to late at night picking up litter and continually swapping out trash containers. “They were constantly maneuvering through crowds, going in with an empty container, picking up a full one and bringing it back,” Frazier says. Two people did nothing but replenish bathroom tissue and sanitizer.


OysterFest is an event the company especially enjoys. “I was born and raised in the community, and several of our employees were too, and this is just something we do traditionally year after year,” Frazier says.

Proceeds from the nonprofit event go to scholarships, water-quality improvement programs and grants for experimental shellfish programs. Frazier contributed to the cause by donating some of his services. “We donate about 30 percent of the units, the recycling dumpsters and the shell recycling dumpster,” he says.

The team goes all out for the event. “We spend a good portion of the last couple weeks of September, first couple weeks of October gearing up for this,” Frazier says. “I give huge kudos to our staff, working all the extra hours planning the festival and then doing the festival. It’s a huge team effort and something we look forward to every year.”


J & J Chemical Co. - 800/345-3303 -

Lely Manufacturing, Inc. - 800/334-2763 -

Masport, Inc. - 800/228-4510 -

PolyPortables, LLC - 800/241-7951 -

Progress Tank - 800/558-9750 -

Satellite Industries - 800/328-3332 -

Specialty B Sales - 800/364-7307


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