What to do About Your Terrible Waste Services

Are your waste “services” really serving you? 

Most of the folks we talk to would answer a big fat “no!” If you’re like them, your haulers can be impossible to deal with, and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. 

A lot of people dread dealing with their waste haulers. But they don’t know what to do. 

You aren’t powerless when it comes to your waste services. This post will show you how to evaluate whether you’re overspending on your waste services. Then we’ll look at the two best options to fix your waste hauler contract - one of them is likely right for you!

How to Evaluate Your Waste Services

Evaluate Waste Services

You can’t fix problems you don’t know about. So evaluating your waste management process by doing a basic audit will pinpoint problem areas. You’ll see the holes in your contract and current service levels. (It will also give you leg up when it comes to evaluating your equipment efficiency!)

Another really good way to evaluate your disposal process is to take a close look at your hauler contract. 95% of companies are overspending on waste - and much of that overspending stems from awful contracts. You can also look over your invoice history and see where there are suspicious price hikes. 

All of these suggestions will give you a much clearer picture about the real status of your waste disposal process. 

How to Fix Your Waste Services

The two main ways to fix your contract are:

  1. Renegotiate with your current hauler provider

  2. Get a new contract

The option you choose depends on contract stipulations, your waste spend, and your satisfaction with your service provider. 

After we run the numbers for some of our clients, we find that it actually makes more financial sense for them to stick with their current waste hauler and renegotiate their contract. But other clients have truly awful service - and that isn’t okay! So for others, we recommend they switch to a different hauler.  

How to Renegotiate A Waste Hauler Contract


Renegotiating a contract can sound tricky - but it doesn’t have to be! The most important thing is to know what your waste hauler contract specifies. You are more likely to have a successful renegotiation if you know some knowledge a head of time!

  1. Determine your current term and expiration date. These facts will help you evaluate when to renegotiate your contract. If your contract will expire in six months, there’s really no reason to go forward with a negotiation.  

  2. Determine if your contract auto-renews. If it does, you need to send out a notice of cancellation ASAP. If you know your contract is bad, you don’t have to stay in it! Let your hauler know that you don’t want your contract to auto-renew under its current terms. 

  3. Determine if your contract is month to month. If it is, you have more leverage and should get pricing from 1-2 other waste haulers if possible to determine the market pricing in your area.

Lastly, prepare yourself for some resistance. You likely aren’t going to get everything you want from your hauler if you are in the middle of your contractual term. Be prepared to stick to your guns, but also know when to compromise.

If you are under contract you can absolutely still negotiate, but you cannot get out of it without paying liquidated damages.   Be prepared for the hauler to essentially tell you to “go play in traffic” if you are still under contract and inquire about a new term or better pricing. 

If your contract favors a renegotiation and the timing is right, move forward with the renegotiation. Get other bids for hauler service, then present the facts to your hauler. Let him know where his service and pricing is lacking, and let him know that you have received bids that undercut his prices (if this is in fact true!). Ask that he decrease his prices to a more reasonable rate - the worst he can say is no. 

If he does say no, make sure that it’s in your best interest to stay in your current contract. Does it make long-term financial sense for you to stay in this contract? If not, you consider getting a new one, as described below. 

How to Get a New Waste Hauler Contract

If you remember nothing else about this post, remember this: 

A good waste hauler contract:

  • Makes provisions for bad service

  • Reduces, regulates, or eliminates ancillary fees

  • Provides the right levels of service

  • Regulates or eliminates price hikes

  • Is easy to cancel

If you include these things in your hauler contract, your rates will be much more reasonable! And you’ll have recourse if your hauler consistently under-performs. 

Prior to getting a new contract, make sure you have a good idea about exactly what you want to be in yours. Being specific about what is and is not allowed in your contract will eliminate waste headaches for you, your staff, and your own customers. 

Once you know what you’re willing to agree to, begin the search for vendors. To find other area haulers, try googling “haulers near me.” Contact them and ask them to provide bids for servicing your locations.  Alternatively, you can also ask other businesses or companies in your area for recommendations. 

After you have found a service provider, you will need to let your current provider know that you are terminating your contract with them on a specific date. You may have to pay a termination fee (something you can find out more about on your contract), so be prepared for that in advance. 

You Can Eliminate Your Waste Worries By Fixing Your Waste Contract

Your waste contract is the cornerstone of your waste management. It will affect your bottom line, your staff’s sanity, and your own customers or clients. Making sure your waste services work - and is working for you - is critical. 

By ensuring your contract sets you up for success, you can have freedom from waste worries. You won’t have to worry about price spikes or what to do if a pick-up is missed; you’ll have eliminated those problems through your contract. 

Find yourself low on time and resources? Read more about how our exhaustive audits save you time - and money (just ask Tad who saved $6500 a month on his waste spend!)