Ribs and Restrooms Mean Weekend Fun for South Carolina PROs

Competitive barbecue cooks and a crowded South Carolina downtown venue keep work interesting for Boggero’s Services.
Ribs and Restrooms Mean Weekend Fun for South Carolina PROs
At the Festival of Discovery, Toney Gragg, left, and Al Tumblin unload Satellite Industries Global restrooms carried by a Johnny Mover transport trailer from Stardusk Truck & Equipment.

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THE TEAM

As the owner of the portable restroom division of Boggero’s Services in Greenwood, South Carolina, Gena Boggero wears all hats. She’s assisted by her husband, Ben Partain, and Al Tumblin (both full-time firefighters who help on their days off), and Dalton Reynolds and Toney Gragg, both from the National Guard Reserves, a favorite recruiting resource, she says, citing their discipline and work ethic. No vacations were allowed during the Festival of Discovery as all hands were needed. The five cross-trained employees on the septic side of the company, owned by her mother, Earline Boggero, and sisters, Tracy Smith and Laurin Boggero, covered the company’s regular routes during the event.

COMPANY HISTORY

Boggero’s grandfather, Nadell Boggero, started the business in 1938 when he was 17. He purchased a piece of property and started offering septic services. He converted the accompanying gas station to a house (now Boggero’s office) for himself and his wife, Emily, who did the books.

Their son, Barry, started working alongside his father at a young age. In 1965, Barry added portable restrooms to their service offerings after getting a call from a contractor saying they were having trouble finding someone to service their units.

Gena Boggero and her sisters also grew up in the business. When her father decided to retire, he split the two sides of the company up, and in 2005, she bought the portable restroom division.

Today they cover about a 100-mile radius with their 60 Satellite Industries special event units and 200 T.S.F. Company Tuff Jon construction units. About 80 percent of their business is construction.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Boggero’s has worked the Festival of Discovery for the Uptown Greenwood Development Corporation since the event started in 2000. Boggero says Greenwood is good about supporting local businesses, and as the only portable restroom company in town they were something of a shoo-in for the job. But she doesn’t take it for granted and attends to numerous details that make it easier for organizers to plan the event each year.

“We do maps of where the toilets are placed and write down the condition of the units,” she says. From that data she advises the city on what units were over- or underused, which locations were better than others and whether they had enough units.

THE MAIN EVENT

Greenwood is a small town (population 24,000) but has one of the widest Main Streets in the country – two rows of angled parking on each side, with four traffic lanes and several rows of trees in between. All that space was utilized July 10-11 when the street was closed for the annual Festival of Discovery. The 90 teams competing in various barbecue and hash cook-offs brought in their motor homes and set up their cooking gear on Thursday, settling in for the duration. “They never leave,” Boggero says. “They’re there beginning to end.”

Nearly 40,000 attendees also enjoyed the musical side of the event called Blues Cruise in which numerous blues bands performed at various restaurants and outdoor stages. Other attractions included a carnival, hot dog eating contest and vendor booths.

BY THE NUMBERS

To supplement restrooms at local businesses, the company provided 22 hunter-green Satellite Global units. Four were placed on each side of Main Street, a few alongside street entrances and the rest sprinkled throughout. Four Satellite ADA-compliant units were placed at each corner of the festival. They also contracted with six vendors who wanted private units (for which they provided locks and “private use only” signs). One Satellite Global 1.5 they call the “mommy unit” was set up near the carnival along with a Tuff Jon disability model hand-sanitizer stand. “We like to use that one because the dispenser sits lower so the kids can actually get the hand sanitizer themselves,” Boggero says.

The company also supplied six 350-gallon Tuff Jon holding tanks for graywater and eight Tuff Jon double and single hand-wash stations. Boggero is extra cautious because it’s a food festival. “We always put chlorine tabs in the sinks to make sure the water is sanitized in every way, shape and form,” she says. She also makes certain units never run out of paper towels or soap. The company also donated six Tuff Jon hand-sanitizer stands to the effort.

LET’S ROLL

The company started bringing in equipment on Wednesday using an eight-unit Johnny Mover transport trailer from Stardusk Truck & Equipment and a 2009 Dodge 4500 flatbed (equipped with an Abernethy Welding & Repair 200-gallon waste/100-gallon freshwater steel slide-in tank). They also used one of their vacuum trucks and a 10-unit hauling trailer. Some were kept open for vendors arriving Thursday, and the others were locked. The rest were brought in Friday afternoon after the street closed.

Units on Main Street were removed early Sunday morning before the street reopened. The rest were picked up early Monday.

KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN

Boggero and her team – wearing safety neon-yellow T‑shirts – were at the event constantly checking and restocking equipment. She stored supplies in her car and was able to get fairly close to the equipment from the back side as most of it was situated along the outer periphery of the festival zone.

A few units were pumped and spruced up Friday morning. Then the team worked through the night Friday to pump and clean all equipment, including servicing the holding tanks twice as they got heavy use from contestants who cooked all night. By Saturday afternoon competition winners were announced and the festival started to wind down. The service team returned early Sunday morning to pump and remove the holding tanks and about half the hand-wash stations and portable restrooms. The rest of the equipment remained in place and were serviced and removed Monday morning.

The company used two service trucks, a 2012 Dodge Ram 5500 built in-house by Partain with an 800-gallon waste/250-gallon freshwater aluminum Progress tank from Engine & Accessory Inc., and a 2009 Isuzu NQR with a 550-gallon waste/200-gallon freshwater steel tank. They kept the Isuzu a couple blocks away during the day in case of an emergency. Waste disposal was at the Greenwood treatment plant.

Boggero has a pretty graphic cleanliness protocol: “My guys know I do not play when it comes to my portable restrooms. I tell them if I can’t eat off that seat when you’re done you won’t have a job. It’s funny, but it’s not.” They use J & J Chemical Company products.

A LOT OF FUN

Despite the long hours and hard work, Boggero says the team is still able to enjoy the festival. She gives the city a lot of credit for making their job easier. “If they were not so organized, trust me, I would not be sitting here saying how great it is.”

Perhaps the best time of the day is in the early morning hours. The streets are quiet but not empty as cooking goes on all night long. “These guys have been up all night cooking,” Boggero says, “and they’ll be like, ‘Hey, come on over, let me fix you a little something to take home with you.’ It’s just so much fun.”



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