The trash bags and recycling bins that hold your business’s waste don’t simply disappear on their own. Furthermore, businesses often don’t have access to the same municipal waste pickup services that homes rely on. That means hiring a private waste management company is a must for all kinds of businesses, from restaurants to construction companies.
What should your business look for in a waste management company? How can you be sure you’re choosing a waste management partner with capabilities you need and integrity you can rely on? We have identified seven of the most important aspects of choosing a waste management company.
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1. What kind of waste management does the law require in your area?
Start by learning about your business’s obligations under state and local laws on municipal solid waste disposal. For example, California requires that businesses recycle, but not all states do. Knowing these requirements will help you understand how to best equip your business for compliance with waste standards.
The waste management company you hire should be well-versed in the specifics of local and state laws. They’ll be able to tell you key info about what recycling centers will accept and how to separate it, for example. That means your partnership with a waste management vendor is a cornerstone element of your environmental compliance.
2. Which special types of waste does the company dispose of?
Most waste management companies offer basic solid waste and recycling pickup services. However, depending on your industry, some businesses might have additional needs for disposing of certain types of waste, such as:
- Construction debris
- Junk vehicles, appliances and/or furniture
- Biomedical waste
- Hazardous chemicals
- Vehicle batteries
- Electronic waste
- Agricultural waste
If your business requires any of these types of waste disposal, make sure that you choose a disposal company that can accommodate your needs. Ask about the company’s ability to dispose of your specific waste type. For waste streams such as medical and chemical waste, you might need to contact a specialized hazmat disposal service.
3. When does the company offer waste pickup?
A waste management company should offer a pickup schedule that meets your business’s needs. For example, businesses such as large retail stores and restaurants can often fill up multiple 96-gallon trash bags in no time flat, so they’ll usually need more frequent pickup. Other scheduling needs might depend on factors like which days of the week your business is busiest and whether you’d prefer to have waste collected during the day or at night.
Find out which days of the week the company provides pickup, as well as whether it provides daytime or nighttime pickup. Some companies may limit your number of pickup days per week based on the size of your dumpster or other factors. If your business rents a roll-off construction dumpster, you’ll probably be able to schedule pickup on demand.
4. Does the company offer its services at a competitive rate?
Rates and billing structures can vary considerably from one waste collection company to another. Some charge a flat fee, while others base their pricing on the volume or weight of the waste collected. Most include the rental of a commercial dumpster in the price. Whenever possible, get quotes from multiple waste management services in your area.
Compare each waste management service on price, as well as on the benefits and services that it offers. Most companies offer a variety of service packages, so shop around and find the one that works best for you. In addition, make sure that you read the contract carefully and learn about key points — like whether the company adds fuel surcharges or other “add-on” fees.
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5. Can you combine your service with other businesses nearby?
Talk to neighboring businesses and learn which services they use for garbage pickup. Depending on which arrangements the waste carrier offers, you might be able to save money by sharing a dumpster with a neighboring business if your business generates a smaller amount of waste. This can be a good strategy for businesses to leverage sharing a common area such as a shopping center or main street.
Your organizations will need to communicate and work together to make sure their arrangement functions smoothly. Establish ground rules such as who’s responsible for cleaning the dumpster, what kind of trash bin bags can be used and how to separate waste streams correctly. Finally, don’t fall into the trap of underestimating how much waste your business generates — do a waste audit first and find out!
6. Is the company’s customer service responsive?
Friendly and helpful customer service is a must for any waste management company. Whether it’s scheduling or collection issues, the company’s representatives should be easy to reach and ready to help resolve any problems that arise.
If the process of getting a quote from a waste management company is long or difficult, consider it a potential red flag. Give your business to a company that makes the process easy to understand from the beginning.
7. Has the company made a commitment to sustainability?
Many businesses want sustainability to be a defining feature of their waste management practices in the 21st century. That’s why eco-friendliness is often now a key element of the vetting and evaluation process for businesses hiring waste management companies. A business might look for any or all of the following sustainability commitments as part of their search:
- Using technological innovations to minimize the impact of landfills
- Ability to recycle a wider variety of materials
- A commitment to steadily reducing the carbon footprint of the company’s operations
- Availability of composting pickup
Source High performance waste management is as critical to your business’s success as any other type of service vendor. When a business works with a great waste management company, they can be sure that professionals are in charge of this underrated but massively important aspect of doing business.