Four Ways You Are Overspending on Waste Expenses

You probably know something is off with your waste disposal. Your waste spend is too high, and prices seem to keep increasing. Your haulers are difficult to work with and provide less than stellar service.

You know something is wrong; you just don’t know what to do about it.

Starting today, you can find relief from your waste worries. You can remedy and even prevent them.

Let’s take a close look at the top four ways you’re likely overspending and what you can do about it. In this post, we’ll look at the following categories in detail:

  1. Expensive haulers

  2. Bad hauler contracts

  3. Using the wrong equipment

  4. Weak customer service 

These are the top ways we’ve seen companies overspend on their waste expenses - and thus the areas where most savings can be had.

  1. You Have Expensive Haulers

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Haulers have a secret - they will increase their prices by 5-20% a year. This will happen at least once a year and sometimes up to four times per year. (They don’t warn you; it just happens.)

As time goes by, this pricing compounds - and not in a good way. Say you started employing a hauler in January 2015 at an initial rate of $1,000 a month. Now, you could be paying as much $1,500 a month or more. That’s a 50% increase!

Some businesses notice price hikes; others (unbelievably) don’t. The ones that do often try to fight the price hikes. But if you don’t have a clause in your contract that specifically precludes these price increases, it’s really difficult to win this battle. 

Too often, what you don’t know can be used against you. You don’t know the market rates, you don’t know what other companies are paying for the same service. So many haulers think they charge you what they want, and you’ll never know the difference.

How can you prevent overspending on haulers? Consider either renegotiating your contract or getting a different hauler (see the next section for more info on these options). Weight the benefits of partnering with a waste consultant, who knows the market rates and the waste industry inside and out. You’ll also need to monitor hauler invoices closely - they have errors about 10% of the time. You shouldn’t pay for someone else’s mistakes! 

2. You Have a Terrible Hauler Contract

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Hauler contracts are often structured with one company in mind - and it’s not yours.

A terrible hauler contract:

  • Does not preclude price spikes 

  • Has inaccurate service levels

  • Charges you for additional fees

  • Makes it nearly impossible to cancel 

  • Has no provision for bad service

Make sure you know your contract! The more you know, the more you can fight unfair terms - and the overspending that almost always accompanies it. Take a deep dive into these categories here!

3. You’re using the wrong equipment

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It’s entirely possible that you’re paying for equipment you don’t actually need. Don’t get me wrong - you need dumpsters (or toters or compactors)! But you may be using the wrong size. 

If your on-site dumpsters are less than half full when they are picked up, look into getting fewer or smaller sized dumpsters. 

But your problem may not with the equipment you have, but with the equipment you don’t have. 

Maybe you have too much cardboard, and want to start packaging it for resale. You need a baler. Or maybe you can reduce the number of pick-ups per week with a compactor. 

Or you may have a situation where you need bigger dumpsters. If you have a six foot front loading dumpsters that is picked up every day, it may make more financial sense to upgrade to an eight foot dumpster that only gets picked up three times a week. 

How do you evaluate your equipment usage? Do a basic audit of your equipment. Take a picture of how full they are at the same time every day for two to four weeks. It will take less than five minutes from your (or your staff’s) day, and it will give you an exact idea of how full your containers are really getting filled. Why pay for four-day a week service when you only need two-day a week service?

4. You Have Weak Customer Service 

How often do you have problems with your waste and recycling hauler or broker? Do you or your staff constantly have to keep on top of them to receive quality service? 

Not many businesses realize the amount of effort they or their staff are putting into their waste management. 

You shouldn’t have to try to convince your waste partner(s) to show up and do what they’ve already agreed to do. It shouldn’t be work to get them to cooperate - they should be doing work for you.

Give some thought to the amount of time your and your staff is spending trying to solve waste-related problems. Your time - and theirs - is an added expense. How would they spend their time if they were unburdened from waste worries?

As the old adage goes, time is money. You are not obligated to overspend on either for waste management. 

Eradicate this expense by reconsidering your waste partnership. Want to become your staff’s hero? Ask them how much time they spend tracking down haulers. Evaluate how bad your waste management customer service really is. Can your issues be addressed by them? If not, how long will you pay for poor service? 

Evaluate Your Waste Management with Confidence

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Taking some time to evaluate your waste process could yield unexpected savings. 

You can solve the headache-inducing problems of expensive haulers, bad contracts, and weak customer service in one fell swoop by renegotiating your contract or finding another provider. 

You can also reduce hauler service frequency through considering the efficiency of your waste equipment and replacing it with ideal sizes or adding additional containers. 

You have the power to prevent and fix waste worries, and you can start today.

What questions do you have about your waste management? Need more information to take control of your waste disposal process? Drop us a line. We’ve helped business leaders all over the nation reign in overspending on waste for the past seventeen years.