Group Managing Director
Graeme has been immersed in the recycling industry his entire life. Contributing to improving London’s recycling rates has been part of the Coombs’ family DNA for 3 generations.
Graeme’s grandfather Tom Coombs started recycling London’s paper waste in 1949 when he established TW Coombs Ltd. Graeme’s father Derek joined the growing family business after completing service with the armed forces.
Graeme joined the family firm in 1974, aged just 17. Under the tutelage of his father, Graeme quickly gained a high level of industry knowledge normally reserved for someone who’d spent 25+ years in the sector.
Graeme’s motivation and drive to build the best waste paper recycler in London helped grow a business with a strong reputation for excellence in service. The growth and success attracted interest from many rivals, and the company was bought out by AW Lawson & Company in 1993. AW Lawson didn’t just buy the business for the name and reputation, they bought it to bring on board the people who knew how to build a reputable and successful recycler – and Graeme was top of their list.
Graeme went in to AW Lawson at director level, and became Managing Director in 1997. Graeme had developed a Midas touch when it came to building recycling businesses, and the growth of AW Lawson attracted the attention of A & J Bull Group, who purchased the business in 2000. Graeme’s incredible skill-set was needed at Bulls, and he managed regional recycling until A & Bull were purchased by Sita UK.
In 2005 Graeme was approached to run a new recycling business by former A & J Bull chairman, Terry Mills. Terry purchased Salter Paper Recycling, and looked to Graeme to transfer it into a modern environmental recycling company, which was customer focused with high service levels – TGM Environmental was born.
Today, TGM Environmental Group is one of the South East’s largest independent recyclers, helping London ‘s businesses optimise the recycling of paper, plastics, and cardboard. Graeme’s motivation and vision remains the same today as it was when he was a young up-and-comer in the industry;
“to build the best recycling organisation in the South East – offering the best service to both big and small companies. Implementing end-to-end recycling solutions, and helping our customers do their bit for the environment, but in a way that doesn’t cost them the earth”.
As well as being Group Managing Director, Graeme is an industry thought leader and highly regarded recycling expert. As a former president of the Independent Waste Paper Processors
Association (IWPPA), and current director of the IWPPA trading brokerage, Graeme’s wealth of knowledge, experience and success is helping to shape the future of recycling in the UK.
With 3 daughters Graeme’s personal life is as busy as his professional life. Graeme is an avid supporter of Chelsea football club, he loves animals and is a supporter of animal charity PDSA. Graeme has a labradoodle named Frank.
For industry insights from Graeme, follow the TGM blog, where Graeme is a regular contributor.
Follow Graeme on Twitter! @GDTCoombs