'I was itching to do something different' - Irish man left commercial banking role to set up thriving recycling business
An Irishman who left his job in commercial banking to set up a recycling business has been shortlisted for three prestigious awards in the UK.
Brendan O'Shea, from south west Kerry, moved to London for a role in commercial property management straight after college.
He spent four years in Regent Street helping to get loans as high as £30m get over the line before he realised it wasn't the career for him.
"I was always itching to do something different, to do something for the environment," he told independent.ie.
"I got out of banking in 2007 just before the crash - which was more luck than design - and my colleagues at the time thought I was mad to leave such a successful job."
Not 12 months later, Brendan's old colleagues felt the impact of the financial downturn while his business 'Just Clear' was beginning to take off.
"I started off with just one truck clearing up properties and removing all sorts of bits from houses and apartments," he said.
"Now we run 18 truck crews nationwide and recycle all sorts of items every day in the domestic and commercial market".
Just Clear's ethos is to provide an eco-friendly approach to clearing and disposing of non structural waste - with zero landfill waste.
"I spotted a gap in the market and realised there was a huge need for transparency in terms of waste removal; nothing was really being done in a professional manner."
Just Clear already won an award last year for its zero waste to landfill in the 'BusinessGreen Leaders Awards'. Now the thriving company has been shortlisted by the National Recycling Awards 2017 for Efficiency Initiative of the Year and Team of the Year 2017.
Furthermore, the firm has also been shortlisted in the 'BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2017' for Circular Economy Project of the Year.
Brendan's business is up against widely recognised firms such as The Clancy Group, London Waste and Shanks Waste Management.
With family - who are also very much into sustainability - still in Ireland, Brendan has considered expanding the company "at home".
"The waste removal model is obviously very different to that in the UK but we are currently doing some research to see how we can set up in Ireland."