Mr Gudgeon will take over running the Luton-based business in October. He succeeds Jon Cawley, who will remain as company chairman.
Cawleys provides waste management services to businesses across England, and has a reputation as a pioneer adopter of new technologies and approaches to waste management to achieve top recycling rates.
Mr Gudgeon is currently Cawleys’ director of waste collection and logistics, having joined the company in 2013. His career began 25 years ago as a driver’s mate on a waste collection roun.
He will become head of one of Luton’s largest employers and lead a board of seven which includes two generations of the Cawleys family.
He said: “Having worked in many different waste management companies, I can honestly say that Cawleys is an exceptionally innovative business. Decisions can be made quickly and cleanly, but are taken with a long term, generational perspective.
“Waste management is all about protecting the future through what we do now and I’m determined that we will continue to do our best in this respect on every front.”
Last year Cawleys helped the first entire business area, Canary Wharf Estate, to be declared a ‘Clean Coffee Zone’ with its through-the-line coffee recycling service. It also introduced Infinity, a new system to tackle plastic waste management and clean waste streams, to its business customers.
The business, which also has sites in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough, has ditched landfill
in favour of new technologies. By investing in its own ‘dirty’ Materials Recycling Facility to process mixed waste streams it enabled the company to offer exceptionally high recycling rates for mixed general waste and has pioneered the use of anaerobic digestion to tackle food waste in the retail sector.
Mr Gudgeon has been instrumental in delivering efficiencies and innovation to the operational side of the business, introducing in-vehicle weighing and a route review which delivered more than £1 million in cost savings to the company. He was also the driving force behind the company becoming the first waste management business in the UK to join the DVSA Enhanced Recognition Scheme earlier this year.
Cawleys maintains its own fleet of 70 vehicles and operates a 24-hour vehicle workshop.
Mr Gudgeon said: “My priorities for the business are to become leaner and more efficient in terms of what we process. We must help our customers to extract more value from their materials, and find more ways to use that material.
“The values of customer service and care really do matter and I’ll continue to focus on this too.”
Cawleys chairman Jon Cawley said: “Phil has proved himself a highly skilled leader and a great person to work with. He knows our industry inside out, and cares deeply about the people and processes that we are all part of.
“I’m delighted that he is taking over as MD of the business. We all are.”