King Charles honours waste management leader

His Majesty King Charles III has presented O’Donovan Waste Disposal’s managing director, Jacqueline O’Donovan, with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), in recognition of her outstanding and unwavering “dedication and pioneering efforts” to promote recycling and workplace safety.

Jacqueline O'Donovan holding her OBE at Windsor Castle. Jacqueline O’Donovan, Managing Director at O’Donovan Waste Disposal, with her OBE at Windor Castle. (PHOTO: O’Donovan)

Jacqueline O’Donovan, who over the years has become a prominent figure in the United Kingdom’s waste management industry, was given the investiture by the monarch at a ceremony that recently took place at Windsor Castle. 

Jacqueline, who became the company’s managing director just 19 years old following the unexpected death of her father in 1985, said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this OBE, which for me cements the fact that the work I have done and continue to do is making a difference and a positive impact. It reinforces my belief in the importance of sustainability and safety.”

Described as a trailblazer and a disruptor within her field of expertise, Jacqueline is known for her work in promoting circular economy practices and championing workplace safety initiatives.

Since taking over the company, Jacqueline has grown its turnover from £175,000 (US$223,500) to more than £20 million (US$25.6 million) and has spearheaded a raft of safety and environmental practices that have influenced the wider recycling sector in both the UK and Ireland. 

In 2019, O’Donovan became the first company in the waste sector to introduce a wellbeing strategy, and in 2023 it became the first waste specialist achieve the ISO 39001 certification for road traffic safety for the fifth consecutive year.

O’Donovan Waste Disposal, which was acquired by Swedish construction and demolition waste services business Sortera in 2022, said: “Her visionary leadership has seen her positioned as an industry figurehead. This OBE is a true testament of her phenomenal achievements to date.”

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