Why Care About My Waste Expenses?

On top of everything else you’re doing, why bother looking at your waste expenses? Why should anyone pay attention to, well, garbage?

Because for most companies out there, your waste disposal has problems you don’t know about. You’re likely being overcharged for poor services. And you and your staff are wasting time on solving waste problems that should have never arisen in the first place.

Too many companies spend too much time and money trying to make their waste and recycling disposal process work for them. This may be normal, but it’s not right.

The very best thing you can do for your company when it comes to waste expenses? Call problems problems - name them for what they are.

Employing a hauler who consistently raises prices isn’t okay. Experiencing customer service failures over and over again isn’t okay. Being unable to break your contract when you really need to isn’t okay.

We’ve run into so many problems in the waste industry, but the three biggest reasons you should care about your waste disposal process are:

  1. Overpriced services

  2. Takes too much time to fix problems

  3. The waste industry doesn’t always play fair

Monitoring your waste expenses will help you see how much these issues are affecting you and your staff on a day to day basis. And knowing more about these concerns can go a long way towards building an effective, intentional waste reduction strategy.

Reason #1: Waste Services are Too Expensive

Imagine with me for a minute. Say you and your family take a trip to the beach. You have a wonderful time digging in the sand, making sandcastles, and just relaxing. 

But a week later, you hear a story on the radio that makes you stop in your tracks. 

Just a day after you left, someone found a chest of old gold coins buried on that exact beach. There are hundreds of them - and they’re priceless. And you missed finding them!

You’d probably be a little upset: we were building sand castles on it the whole time! Why couldn’t that have been us? 

The good news is, you don’t have to miss out on savings when it comes to your waste expenses.

95% companies across all industries are sitting on thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in waste savings every year - and they have no idea.

If you spend more than $10,000 annually on waste, there’s a good chance you’re sitting on savings. 

Or, to put it another way, you’re probably overspending - often by no fault of your own!

There are so many ways that your waste disposal is designed to entrap you. But for now, let’s just focus on the biggest one: your contract.

Contracts make you overpay because they don’t limit or eradicate price spikes, ancillary fees, or poor service issues. 

Price spikes will happen at least once a year, and if they’re not regulated or eliminated, they’ll just keep on happening. Year after year, these spikes compound until you’re paying an outrageous amount for something that, let’s face it, really should be simple: taking your waste to the dump. 

Ancillary fees (there are dozens of them) can compound over time, too. Paying a $40 fuel fee every month may not seem like that much. But over  5 years, that’s $2400 you could have saved. 

But fuel isn’t the only ancillary fee you may see on your invoice. You can get charged for having too much weight in your dumpsters, or too little. You can get charged to cover services in other regions, or charged for not getting paperless bills. And most people will just pay these fees. But you don’t have to!

Not having provisions for bad service can also be expensive. Suppose you have a hauler who just can’t seem to remember to make a site visit on Wednesdays. Or, suppose you have a hauler who leaves a mess every time he services your compactor.

If your contract doesn’t provide recourse for service issues, you can easily get trapped into employing a less than satisfactory hauler. And if it doesn’t regulate price hikes, you’ll be paying far more than you want for severely disappointing service. 

Waste services are designed to be exorbitant. And most people don’t realize they can and should question the way their contracts are set up. 

Reason #2: Monitoring Waste Services Takes Too Much Time

Waste Management is a Hassle

Who loves spending forty-five minutes on hold waiting to yell at your hauler? Spoiler alert - absolutely no one. You shouldn’t have to babysit your hauler to ensure that he’s going to do what he’s contractually obligated to do. 

It can take persistence and perseverance to make sure the haulers perform to your standards. 

Time is one of you and your staff’s greatest resources. If you spend a lot of it constantly course correcting your hauler, you can’t spend it on attending to other more pressing responsibilities. 

Time spent fixing service issues is time that could be spent on other projects. And that lost time can add up in unexpected ways. 

Reason #3: The Waste Industry Isn’t Fair

Waste Management Isn't Fair

Most of the waste industry can get away with what it does because clients just don’t know any better. Businesses think they have to pay ancillary fees and that it’s normal to have tons of hauler issues. 

The waste industry - and the haulers especially - don’t always treat their customers like people. Alot of them have pretty shady ways of operating. They may trick you into signing contracts that are in their favor; paying the prices they want for the services they decide you should have. They don’t often give their clients the full picture of what they’re really signing up for. 

This isn’t okay. It’s not okay ethically or morally. And it’s not fair to you, the people with whom they do business.

Get a Waste Reduction Strategy

You should care about your waste because it’s costing you. It’s costing you money, time, and effort. But it’s also plain wrong. You shouldn’t be tricked just because you don’t know better.

You deserve to have waste service that actually serves you - not one that creates headaches. 

Waste worries are like ants at a picnic - the fewer the better. But because of the way contracts and pricing are set up, it’s pretty common for companies to have more than one complaint about their waste services. 

Price hikes happen without warning and seem impossible to prevent (making budgeting a nightmare). Service issues keep happening. And you (or your staff’s) are putting too much time trying to correct a situation that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. 

Small or large, headaches aren’t a good thing. It’s the same with waste worries - small problems are still problems. 

Waste disposal problems of any size can be prevented and eliminated. We want you to be well-equipped so that you can prevent waste headaches - and you can start right here! 

Use these resources to think strategically about your waste reduction efforts and methods.