About the Book

Doing The Doing chronicles the professional, personal, and often humbling experiences of Alan McKim. The book also serves as a tribute and thank you to the tens of thousands of employees who, through their talent and dedication, helped to make Clean Harbors what it is today. Doing The Doing shares the lessons Mr. McKim learned from leading Clean Harbors from a simple idea into one of the most successful companies in North America. He believes these valuable experiences and insights can be applied to any business situation, as illustrated in the book. The hope is that you enjoy reading Doing The Doing as much as he did writing it.

A Q&A with the Author

CEO Alan McKim pens novel on life at Clean Harbors, lessons of an entrepreneur.

Q: Why did you write "Doing The Doing?"

McKim: I have been asked numerous times to write a book about Clean Harbors, its history and its success. And, I finally put pen to paper. I wanted a way to share the story for others to understand how this all came about and how truly special Clean Harbors is. My one caveat was that the book had to be straight talk, even if it meant diving deep into my life and discussing uncomfortable aspects of it. This book doesn't hold back, and nor should it. "Doing The Doing" is filled with the trials and tribulations of starting, managing and growing an idea into one of the most successful companies in North America.

Most importantly, I wanted a substantive way to show my gratitude for and appreciation of the people who have worked at Clean Harbors. No one could have ever imagined that what started as a simple idea with four employees and a used truck would then transform into a $5 billion industry leader. Yes, I was a part of it, but the success belongs to the tens of thousands of employees who, through their talent and dedication, helped shape Clean Harbors into what it is today.

Q: What is behind the title, "Doing The Doing?"

McKim: "Doing The Doing" was an internal slogan that we used in the Company's earlier years. It speaks about dedication, commitment and hard work. As important, it underscores that if we say we're going to do something, we're going to do it. When I look back on everything this company accomplished over four decades, and the diversity of the work we performed, the common threads were unwavering determination and sweat equity - or said another way, doing' the doing'!

I looked at several potential titles. One title that got traction (and was the working title for a while) was "Trash to Treasure," symbolizing my own rags-to-riches story. While I think it's a good title, summing up how well life has played out for me, both personally and at the helm of Clean Harbors, I was never comfortable with it, because it seemed too me-focused.

Q: What do you hope readers get out of the book?

McKim: First and foremost, I hope readers enjoy the Clean Harbors story. The Company is truly amazing, and I tried to ensure that fact came through. I also hope people clearly understand the level of appreciation and respect I have for our employees.

And, finally, "Doing The Doing" recounts the experiences I had growing up and while leading Clean Harbors. I believe these valuable insights can be applied to any business situation. I end the book with my top 10 lessons learned. I feel these key take-aways can be very useful for those who are thinking about starting a business.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about writing the book?

McKim: It actually wasn't the writing, but, rather, it was the recounting of literally hundreds of stories, both personally and professionally. I cannot total the number of hours I spent with family, friends and colleagues reliving milestones and war stories to ensure the best examples made their way into the book. This has been a labor of love, and I'm so happy the book was created. My hope is that folks enjoy reading "Doing the Doing" as much as I did writing it.

Q: Is there anything you wish was in the book that didn't make it into the final version?

McKim: Only a select few people who shaped me and Clean Harbors are actually mentioned in the book, but there are so many people who have contributed to the Company's success along the way. Each board member, executive, supervisor, administrator, truck driver and laborer has made it possible for me to have the career that I have had and for all of us at Clean Harbors to achieve the remarkable success that we have built together.

Q: Are you planning a sequel?

McKim: While I never like closing the door on potential endeavors, I don't see a sequel any time soon. "Doing The Doing" tells the story I wanted to tell and, in doing so, thanks the people who shaped, drove and grew the Company. This book is very personal and very important to me, and I'm completely satisfied with it.

About the Author

Alan S. McKim
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Since founding the Company in 1980, Mr. McKim has established Clean Harbors as North America's leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services, with revenues of approximately $5 billion. Under Mr. McKim's leadership, Clean Harbors has steadily grown over those four decades both organically and through M&A, including more than 60 acquisitions.

The Company that began as four friends, a single truck and a small garage has evolved into an organization that employs more than 20,000 workers, maintains a fleet of more than 15,000 vehicles and a network of over 700 locations, including 150 permitted waste management facilities. During that time, Mr. McKim established Clean Harbors as the go-to emergency response company for the nation's biggest disasters including 9/11, the anthrax attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the BP oil spill and several avian flu outbreaks.

Today, Clean Harbors offers a comprehensive array of services to more than 300,000 customers and counts the majority of the Fortune 500 among its customer base. Its customer base spans a number of industries, including chemical, industrial and manufacturing, as well as numerous government agencies. These customers rely on Clean Harbors to deliver a broad range of services such as end-to-end hazardous waste management, emergency spill response, industrial cleaning and maintenance, and recycling services. Alan has been instrumental in driving the company's deep commitment to safety, which has resulted in industry-leading performance.

Mr. McKim has also led the company's focus on sustainability by adding considerable recycling capabilities over the years. Through its Safety-Kleen subsidiary, Clean Harbors is North America's largest re-refiner and recycler of used oil and a leading provider of parts washers that use recycled solvents to commercial, industrial and automotive customers. Headquartered in Norwell, Massachusetts, Clean Harbors now operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and India.

Mr. McKim holds an MBA from Northeastern University, where he also serves as Trustee. He also received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.