News Release

Thorntons Recycling acquires The City Bin Co.

Dublin, Ireland – Thorntons Recycling has agreed to acquire The City Bin Co. from existing shareholders including co-founder Gene Browne, the management team and Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI). The acquisition will combine award-winning customer service with best-in-industry waste management practices. This will place the enlarged group at the forefront of helping Irish businesses and households meet the challenges of the circular economy and to support them to lower their carbon footprint.

Thorntons Recycling is an Irish business owned by brothers Paul and Shane Thornton, employing more than 550 staff who are committed to providing the highest level of customer service. It has been operating in Ireland’s waste sector for almost 45 years and today handles over 700,000 tonnes of waste material across 11 depots. The company provides a full range of recycling and waste management services to over 80,000 household and commercial customers. A continuous re-investment programme in modern recovery facilities, processes, fleet, staff and equipment has positioned Thorntons at the forefront of Ireland’s green economy drive, with a market-leading 90% of the waste processed by Thorntons being recycled and recovered.

The City Bin Co. was co-founded by Gene Browne in 1997 to bring a customer-centric approach to the waste management industry. The company is headquartered in Galway and operates in both Galway City and Dublin. The City Bin Co.’s core strategic focus is customer service, and it is renowned for its quality of service and investment in people. In recent years, the company has grown revenues and customer and staff numbers while increasing recycling rates and continuing its relentless pursuit of customer service excellence. Approximately 180 people are employed across its operations.

Gary Brady, CEO, Thorntons Recycling said that Thorntons intends to retain The City Bin Co. brand post-acquisition. “We are delighted to acquire The City Bin Co. which has an excellent reputation in the waste management sector and is a well-known brand with a loyal customer base in Dublin and Galway City. With this investment Thorntons Recycling is making a strong commitment to delivering for Ireland’s circular economy and helping the country achieve its climate action targets. Our two businesses are highly complementary in terms of culture and outlook, and together we will continue to deliver a premium service to our customers and excellent career opportunities to our employees.”

Gene Browne, co-founder of The City Bin Co., said: “We’ve come a long way from one truck and two customers back in 1997. I, for one, am very proud of all that we have achieved to date. Through our customer service focus, we have grown our business strongly in the commercial and household markets in both Galway and Dublin, while delivering significant support to our former partners in the Middle East. This is the next chapter for The City Bin Co. Our brand, customer service philosophy and strong service ethos will remain the same. Regarding that ethos, I believe Thorntons are fully aligned to The City Bin Co. I would also like to thank our partners, CCI, who have helped us build our business over the past number of years.”

CCI wished management and staff at The City Bin Co. continued success as part of Thorntons Recycling:CCI was one of the first private equity funds to establish in Ireland and to recognise the growth potential of Irish companies like The City Bin Co. The success of CCI-backed companies such as AA Ireland, Learning Pool, Carroll’s Cuisine, Payzone, GSLS and Lily O’Brien’s clearly demonstrates the value that can be achieved with the right investment partner. We wish continued growth and success to The City Bin Co.’s management team and staff, and to Thorntons Recycling”.

Thorntons Recycling’s acquisition of The City Bin Co. is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).




Press Contacts:

The Carlyle Group

Laurie Mannix, MKC Communications

Tel: +353 (0)1 703 8620 Mob: +353 (0)86 814 3710


Cardinal Capital Group

Tom McEnaney, McEnaney Media

Tel: +353 (0)87 2222 666



About Thorntons Recycling

Thorntons Recycling, founded in 1979 is a privately owned Waste Management and Recycling business. Employing over 550 staff and supplying premium customer services to over 80,000 household and commercial customers in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. The company operates 11 licensed and permitted facilities in Ireland. Each facility’s primary function is to recycle and recover as much material from the waste streams accepted as possible thus reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. 90% of the waste processed by Thorntons is recycled.


About The City Bin Co.

The City Bin Co. was co-founded by Gene Browne in 1997 to bring a customer-centric approach to the waste industry. Today it is a leading provider of waste management services in both Dublin and Galway city, serving in excess of 60,000 household and commercial customers. The City Bin Co. was the first and only company in the waste management industry to be placed on the ‘Index of Excellence’ by Excellence Ireland. The practice and pursuit of excellence is part of the company’s culture. It has been a Deloitte Best Managed Companies (Ireland) four years in a row as well as twice representing Ireland in the European Business Awards in the area of ‘Customer Focus’.


About Carlyle Cardinal Ireland

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland is a joint venture between The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group. The €292 million private equity fund is focused on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across the island of Ireland and investors include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland. Existing CCI investments include Sports Surgery Clinic and McCauley Pharmacy Group. CCI previously invested in a range of successful companies including AA Ireland, Carroll Cuisine, Learning Pool, Lily O’Brien’s, Payzone and General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS). The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland fund is now closed to new investments.