Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight Oct 13 2021

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2 I PSAI Association Insight, October 13, 2021 Toi Toi Harald Muller founded a competing company, Toi Toi, in Wiesbaden, West Germany, in 1983. Harald and wife Helga's company was located some 140 miles southeast of Dixi. Both Dixi and Toi Toi grew their businesses rapidly in Europe in the 1980s. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and shortly thereafter, Germany became a unified country. This pivotal world event had a dramatic impact on the portable restroom industry in Europe. Jeremy Hawkins of True Loo Waste Services in Cumming, Georgia—a long- time PSAI member and former Board member—worked in Europe for Poly- Portables from 1990–2000 and is very familiar with this period of our industry's history. According to Jeremy, "With the reunification of Germany, basically East Germany needed to be rebuilt. Roads, bridges, buildings, and all infrastructure was in disrepair and was aged. Some estimates were that 40 percent of the roads were still dirt. Companies from the former West Germany came in and had to basically rebuild the East." Both Dixi and Toi Toi were there to meet the some of the massive need for portable restrooms, but much more opportunity was available. Jeremy continues, "I was sent by Ed Crafton of PolyPortables to establish our company's presence in Europe. I was to develop my own plan and to report the results. My first visit was to Harald Muller at Toi Toi." Jeremy found Harald to be "extremely kind and knowledgeable of our industry." He got to know Harald quite well and described him as "an amazing 'renaissance man' who earned degrees in business, engineering, and law." At that time, Jeremy's research showed that "Toi Toi was operating in 34 countries—33 in Europe and 1 in China. I believe that the operation in China was the first of its kind in that country." Jeremy was incredibly successful and PolyPortables did indeed establish a presence in Europe. "I" is for International (continued from page 1) GERMANY Dixi In 1973, Fred Edwards founded Port San Ser in Essen, West Germany. His was the first company to provide portable sanitation service in the country and Port San Ser is believed to also be the first portable restroom company in Europe. Lothar Vermillion soon purchased the company and changed the name to Dixi, and the company continued to grow in the 1970s. The major customer during this time was the US Military. Numerous military maneuvers required the use of portable sanitation per West German ordinances. Dixi's special event business unit successfully handled the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1980. This was the first major European event where large numbers of portable restrooms were needed. (continued on page 3) Lothar Vermillion Harald Muller

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