Steve Midgley is known for being able to pull a rabbit out of a hat when he is at work, but it’s something he could do for a real if he was asked.
That’s because Steve used to a member of The Magic Circle, specialising in the kind of ‘mental magic’ made famous by Derren Brown.
He has even appeared on television and as a member of the Middlesbrough Circle of Magicians, he knew the legendary Paul Daniels and his wife/assistant Debbie McGee.
Steve says: “You have to audition to become a member of The Magic Circle, so it’s not easy to get into, but I was in for ten years and really enjoyed it.
“I still occasionally get asked to do magic by people, but the day job keeps me busy enough.”
That day job is being Site Manager of Yorwaste’s waste transfer station at Tancred, near Catterick.
It is here that 30,000 tonnes of general waste, 15,000 tonnes of recyclables and 15,000 tonnes of green waste are brought each year.
That means Steve and his team of five are kept busy. He also spends one day a week overseeing the operation of our transfer station at Halton East in Harrogate.
Steve, 46, joined Yorwaste in 2014 and this is his first job in waste management. Previously he worked in the tool and equipment hire business for 15 years, but it’s not something he looks back on with fond memories.
He says: “I used to dread getting up and going to work when I worked in the tool hire business, but it’s completely different at Yorwaste. I enjoy coming to work because it’s a good company to work for and each day is different.”
Health and safety is, understandably, a key element of Steve’s role and the certificates on the wall in his office are testament to this and the general drive to improve himself.
“I am certified by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and have a certificate of competence from WAMITAB, which is an assessment programme for people in the waste management industry, and continuous professional development is a key part of keeping this up-to-date.
“I have also been on the Yorwaste leadership development programme and everything combined has enabled me to develop a great team here at Tancred. I don’t micro-manage as I trust them to do their jobs right, and it means we’re all very focused.”
One of the things Steve introduced at Tancred was a site induction video which he made himself.
“Health and safety is obviously very important at a site like this, so rather than getting everyone to read the induction on paper, all they have to do now is watch the video and they then get a pass so each time they come to the weighbridge they show this so the weighbridge operator knows they have had an induction.
“This means everyone gets the same consistent message, it is more engaging because it is visual, and it has freed up staff time having to put everyone through the induction.
Outside of work Steve enjoys spending time with his partner Tanja and their four children. He also enjoys running and photography.
Before he joined Yorwaste he worked briefly as a pet photographer, but that’s a story for another day…