Building a Portable Sanitation Legacy

Lindsey Greig is excited to follow in her father’s footsteps at Canada’s Gotta Go Portable Toilet Rentals

Building a Portable Sanitation Legacy

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Lindsey Greig always helped her father, Ken Novotny, as he built Gotta Go Portable Toilet Rentals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a company offering 800 units to the local construction, entertainment and special events markets. She even quit a provincial government job in 2018 to join the company so she could spend more time with her three kids. However, it took a call from someone interested in buying out Gotta Go to galvanize her commitment to one day owning and operating the business. 

“Two years ago someone called for my father, offering to buy us out,” Greig recalls. “But I happened to take that call, and the words just came out of my mouth unplanned. I told them that this was a family business, that I am the owner’s daughter who plans to take it over one day, that I plan to pass it on to my children, and that a sale is not going to happen.”

Her father agreed.

Greig now runs the construction and events side of the business, while her father handles the entertainment side. She’s increasingly becoming the company’s face with construction clients, as she occasionally delivers restrooms or goes out to ask customers how well Gotta Go is performing. Her father continues to show her the ropes regarding the technical requirements of operating a portable restroom business.

She’s also helping the company to grow.

Gotta Go had previously bid on a city of Winnipeg contract providing portable restroom service and public hand-wash stations for city-owned venues, including parks, cemeteries, bus terminals and city dumps, but had never snagged it. Late last year, Greig offered to head up a new company bid, something Novotny thought would provide good business experience for her.

“We were getting bigger and receiving lots of compliments on our service, so I thought there would be no harm in bidding,” she says. Executing the contract would require the company to buy additional restrooms and hire more staff.

“We won the bid,” Greig says. “The contract runs for a year, but is renewable annually for five years. We’re ordering as many as 200 additional portable restrooms from PolyJohn Canada over the next few months and we’ll have to hire another operator — maybe two.”

The deal has already spurred other city departments to call on Gotta Go, including a contract to supply inner city restrooms to serve Winnipeg’s homeless population.

Both Greig and Novotny are now looking to the far future when the next generation will take over. Greig’s son Cole is 16 years old and already stepping up, helping to keep units clean and refilling sanitizer tanks. He just received his driver’s license. Son Lynden is 4 years old and daughter McKenna (named for Novotny) is 2 — they’re both spending a lot of time in the office and accompanying their grandfather around the site.

“This business will be a family heritage,” Greig says. “It will be my retirement and my kids’ livelihood.”

Read more about Gotta Go Portable Toilet Rentals in the July issue of PRO Monthly.


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